Signs and Symptoms
Some individuals with amyloidosis experience symptoms and others do not until the condition is more advanced. Signs and symptoms vary depending on which organ or part of the body is affected by the disease. Amyloidosis may affect the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, and digestive tract. Amyloidosis symptoms may be similar to other conditions, so speaking to a doctor is important to understand an overall picture of your health.
Common symptoms include:
Cardiac symptoms: If amyloid deposits make their way into the heart, the walls of the heart may become stiff. This can weaken the heart and cause less blood to flow to the heart. Symptoms include shortness of breath with light activity, an irregular heartbeat, swelling of the feet and ankles, weakness, fatigue, and nausea.
Kidney symptoms: Amyloidosis in the kidneys can impact the kidneys’ ability to filter waste and toxins from the blood. This can cause water and toxins to build up leading to swelling of the feet and ankles, puffiness around the eyes, and high levels of protein in the urine.
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms: Amyloidosis in the GI tract can impact digestion interfering with the intestines and movement of food after eating. Symptoms can include less appetite, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and weight loss. This may also impact the liver causing enlargement and fluid buildup throughout the body.
Neurological symptoms: A number of neurological symptoms may occur in the body if amyloid deposits damage the nerves surrounding the brain and spinal cord. If amyloidosis affects these nerves, symptoms include balance problems, problems controlling the bladder and bowel, sweating, tingling, weakness, and lightheadedness.