Skip to content
Font Size
A
A
A

Amyloidosis

Amyloid Neuropathy

Amyloid deposits can damage the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord called the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves carry information between your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) and the rest of your body. For example, they make your brain perceive pain if you burn your hand or stub your toes. If amyloidosis affects your nerves, you may have:

  • Balance problems
  • Problems controlling your bladder and bowel
  • Sweating problems
  • Tingling and weakness
  • Light-headedness when standing due to a problem with your body's ability to control blood pressure

Amyloidosis can also involve other organs including the lungs, skin, and spleen.

Diagnosing Amyloidosis

A thorough physical exam and a detailed and accurate account of your medical history are crucial in helping your doctor diagnose amyloidosis.

There is no blood test to detect amyloidosis. Sophisticated laboratory techniques called electrophoresis or free light chain assays may reveal early evidence of some amyloid proteins.

A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of amyloidosis and determine the specific type of protein involved in the disease. The tissue sample for the biopsy may be taken from the abdominal fat pad, or sometimes the mouth, rectal, or other involved organs. It is not always necessary to biopsy the part of the body damaged by the amyloid deposits.

Genetic testing will be done if your health care provider suspects you have a type that is passed down through families. Treatment for hereditary amyloidosis is different than for other types of the disease.

Other blood, urine, and imaging tests will be done to check organ function.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

sore foot
3 warning signs.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms and treatment.
man behind computer screen
10 possible causes.
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Common triggers.
man screaming
Making sense of symptoms.
human liver
What puts you at risk?
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.