Amyloidosis is a condition that affects the kidney and other organs in the body. But do you know what this condition is and its connection to kidney diseases?
Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal proteins form clumps called amyloids, which accumulate in the kidneys, heart, liver, spleen, and peripheral nerves. This can lead to serious health problems like decreased organ function or failure of vital organs. Kidney damage caused by amyloidosis is one of the most common forms of kidney disease.
Understanding how amyloidosis is linked to kidney diseases is essential to protect yourself against developing this life-threatening condition. In this article, we’ll explore exactly what amyloidosis is and why it’s important for those with or at risk for kidney disease to be aware of it.
How Amyloidosis and Kidney Disease Are Connected?
Amyloidosis and kidney disease are connected because amyloidosis is a condition in which proteins build up in the body and can cause damage to organs, including the kidneys. Protein buildup occurs due to abnormality in certain bone marrow cells. This buildup of proteins leads to an accumulation of tissue, often called amyloid deposits, found in the affected organ, such as the respiratory system or kidneys.
If left untreated, these deposits can lead to chronic kidney disease over time by blocking the filtering mechanisms within the kidneys and thus preventing them from removing waste from the blood. In addition, proteins that accumulate in the kidneys due to amyloidosis may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and other serious kidney disorders that may damage these vital organs further.
Types of Amyloidosis that can affect your kidneys
Below are the different types of Amyloidosis that can affect your Kidneys differently. Check it out:
- AL Amyloidosis: AL amyloidosis is caused by the abnormal production of a certain type of protein due to mutations, like changes in the amino acid sequence or duplications of the amyloidogenic gene and is commonly diagnosed in individuals over 55.
- Primary Light Chain (AL) Amyloidosis: Primary light chain amyloidosis is caused by an abnormal accumulation of immunoglobulin light chains or proteins produced by B-cells in the immune system.
- Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) Amyloidosis: FMF amyloidosis is caused by mutations in the MEFV gene, leading to inflammation within the body’s organs.
- Dialysis-Related Amyloidosis: Dialysis-related amyloidosis may develop in patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment for chronic kidney failure.
- Genetics-Linked Amyloids: Some genetic conditions are known to be linked with familial forms of renal protein misfolding diseases, which cause tissue damage over time and create neuropathic pain symptoms.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease from Amyloidosis:
Check out the Amyloidosis symptoms of kidney disease below:
- Extreme fatigue
- Reduced appetite or loss of appetite
- Loss of concentration and derangement in cognitive abilities
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid weight loss
- Weakness and cramps in the muscles
- Swelling (oedema) of the legs and feet
- High urine output, even when not drinking fluids excessively
- Darkened discolouration of the skin due to anaemia related to renal failure
- Occasional fever as a result of an infection caused by a weakened immune system due to kidney disease
If you take these symptoms for granted, then it might lead to risks, as specified below. Check it out:
Risks associated with Kidney Disease from Amyloidosis:
- An increased risk for developing secondary infections due to the kidney’s decreased filtering abilities
- Heart arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat, which may increase one’s risk for stroke or heart attack if uncontrolled
- Higher levels of waste products remaining in the bloodstream since the kidneys can no longer filter them out efficiently, leading to reduced organ and tissue function over time, including heart, liver, brain, and other organs
These are just a few risks that come with the process. To help you out, below, we have specified some steps you must consider following to manage kidney disease from amyloidosis. Take a look:
Advice For Managing Kidney Disease From Amyloidosis
- Take medications prescribed by your doctor, as directed, to manage amyloidosis and any kidney-related symptoms.
- Drink fluids daily (limit caffeinated drinks) to keep your kidneys functioning properly.
- Eat a balanced diet low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to manage the progression of amyloidosis and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
- Avoid high-sugar foods and beverages, as they increase blood sugar and can contribute to an increase for those with CKD or who have had an organ transplant.
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle, improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress levels which can help manage amyloidosis-related symptoms such as fatigue and muscle pain/discomfort.
- Get regular medical checkups to monitor any changes in your condition and update your doctor on new developments or adjustments in medication or dietary recommendations.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert nephrology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
In conclusion, amyloidosis is a rare and complex disease affecting many body areas, including the kidneys. Those with amyloidosis may experience kidney damage due to the accumulation of abnormal proteins in their kidneys, leading to impaired kidney function. Amyloidosis treatment options for those suffering include lifestyle modifications such as low-salt diets or diuretics, medications, and organ transplantation in more severe cases. While it is important to stay up-to-date on all treatments and preventive measures, it is also just as important to maintain one’s overall health by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly to ensure both physical and mental well-being.
Q. What is amyloidosis, and how does it affect the kidneys?
A. Amyloidosis is when abnormal deposits of a protein called amyloid build up in one or more organs, such as the kidneys. The kidney is particularly vulnerable to amyloidosis, as it can damage the filtering within the organ resulting in a decrease in overall functioning.
Q. What are the different types of amyloidosis, and how do they affect the kidneys?
A. Amyloidosis is when insoluble protein deposits, called amyloid, accumulate in and around tissues or organs, including the kidneys. The different types of amyloidosis are AL (primary) amyloidosis, secondary (AA) amyloidosis, dialysis-related (hereditary) amyloidosis, and more. All forms of amyloidosis can lead to symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, weight loss, and oedema.
Q. What are the early signs and symptoms of amyloidosis-related kidney disease?
A. Early signs and symptoms of amyloidosis-related kidney disease may include oedema (swelling), fatigue, skin discolouration or thickening, swollen lymph nodes, enlargement of the abdomen due to an accumulation of fluid, weight loss, difficulty breathing, and episodes of low blood pressure.
Q. How is amyloidosis-related kidney disease diagnosed, and what tests are used?
A. Amyloidosis-related kidney disease can be diagnosed by clinical examination and using a combination of laboratory tests such as urine protein, blood urea nitrogen and serum electrolytes, urine microscopy, imaging techniques (such as ultrasound or CT scan), and biopsy for definitive diagnosis. In addition, tests for proteins related to amyloidosis, such as lysozyme and Free Light chains, may also be used to make a diagnosis.
Q. What is the treatment for amyloidosis-related kidney disease?
A. The treatment for amyloidosis-related kidney disease depends on the underlying cause but may include medications to reduce amyloid buildup, chemotherapy, diuretics, and possibly a kidney transplant.