Amyloidosis Made Simple

In a nutshell…

Amyloidosis is a rare blood disorder that occurs when a person’s bone marrow makes too much of a protein called “amyloid,” which then collects in the body’s organs including the heart, kidneys, and spleen.

Amyloids can also be deposited in the body’s tissues, which may damage the digestive tract and central nervous system. Like with so many heartbreaking rare diseases, there is no cure for amyloidosis, but symptoms can be controlled by limiting the production of the amyloid protein.

In the most severe cases, organ failure can become life-threatening for the patient.

It’s important to know what the symptoms of amyloidosis are, because most of the 4,500 cases diagnosed every year in the United States are in people between the ages of 50 and 80.

Patient Worthy always strives to raise awareness about rare diseases, so here are the top five symptoms to watch for:

  • Severe fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing

It’s vital that treatment is tailored specifically to the patient’s needs, because no two cases of amyloidosis are exactly alike. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional.

Most of the diagnoses are only uncovered when the disease has progressed to a dangerous level, so be proactive about your health!

For more information about amyloidosis, contact the Amyloidosis Foundation. If you or a loved one is living with amyloidosis and need support, don’t think you have to be alone on your journey. Click here to locate a support group in your area.


Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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