How do you Diagnose Amyloidosis?
- Blood and Urine Tests: These are tested for abnormal proteins and to rule out presence of other diseases which may cause amyloidosis
- Bone Marrow Biopsy: A bone marrow tissue sample may be obtained by biopsy for histochemical and microscopic studies to identify abnormal amyloid proteins
- Tissue Biopsy: This is essential to confirm diagnosis of amyloidosis. A tissue sample is obtained by biopsy and examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and microscopy for the presence of any amyloid fibrils
How can you Treat and Manage Amyloidosis?
Currently, there is no cure for amyloidosis. Treatment aims to reduce the symptoms and prevent further deposition of amyloid proteins in the body tissues. Management of amyloidosis depends on the type of amyloidosis and the organs affected.
- Medications: These are used for treating underlying diseases such as autoimmune diseases, chronic infections or inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and ulcerative colitis. Painkillers may be used for managing pain and antiarrhythmic drugs may be used to stabilize the heartbeat
- Dialysis: The patient may require dialysis if the kidneys are affected
- Bone Marrow Transplant: This may be required if the abnormal blood cells arising from amyloidosis need to be replenished
- Organ Transplant: This is recommended in case of irreversible organ damage, as a result of which the affected organs do not respond to treatment
- Chemotherapy Drugs & Corticosteroids: Chemo drugs such as melphalan may be helpful to slow down the formation of amyloid fibrils. Corticosteroids like prednisone may also be useful as they have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties
- Healthy Diet: This provides the body with adequate energy. Different types of diets may be recommended based on which organs are affected. If the heart is affected, increased consumption of plant-based foods and cutting back on cheese, meat and other high-calorie foods is recommended
- Green Tea: Green tea contains a chemical Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to prevent amyloidosis in patients with bone marrow disordersaccording to studies conducted at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.
- Light-Chain (AL) Amyloidosis: Diagnosis and Treatment - (https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/1/6/1331)
- Amyloidosis - (https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/amyloidosis/)
- About Amyloidosis - (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/amyloidosis)
- Amyloidosis-Associated Kidney Disease - (https://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/17/12/3458)
- Amyloidosis & Kidney Disease - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/amyloidosis)
- AL Amyloidosis - (http://amyloidosis.org/facts/al/#diagnosis)