William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Amyloidosis facts
- What is amyloidosis?
- What causes amyloidosis?
- What are risk factors for amyloidosis?
- What are amyloidosis symptoms and signs?
- How is amyloidosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for amyloidosis?
- What are complications of amyloidosis?
- What is the prognosis of amyloidosis?
- Can amyloidosis be prevented?
- Where can people find more information on amyloidosis?
What causes amyloidosis?
Amyloidosis is caused by changes in proteins that make them insoluble, leading them to deposit in organs and tissues. These amyloid proteins accumulate mainly in the tissue space between cells. Changes in proteins that make them amyloid proteins occur because of gene mutations.
What are risk factors for amyloidosis?
Risk factors for the inherited forms of amyloidosis are being genetically related to an ancestor with the disease. The risk factors for secondary amyloidosis are the underlying inflammatory chronic medical conditions.
Age is a risk factor as well, as most people who develop amyloidosis are over 60 years old.
What are amyloidosis symptoms and signs?
Symptoms in patients with amyloidosis result from abnormal functioning of the particular organs involved. The heart, kidneys, liver, bowels, skin, nerves, joints, and lungs can be affected. As a result, symptoms are vague and can include fatigue, shortness of breath, weight loss, lack of appetite, numbness, tingling, weakness, enlarged tongue, and swelling. Amyloidosis in these organs leads to cardiomyopathy, and heart failure, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis, malabsorption, diarrhea, and liver damage and hepatic failure. Amyloidosis affecting the kidney leads to "nephrotic syndrome," which is characterized by severe loss of protein in the urine and swelling of the extremities.
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