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What can you expect if you have primary amyloidosis?

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What people should expect from a primary amyloidosis diagnosis depends on how much the disease has affected surrounding organs. Primary amyloidosis is related to multiple myeloma and can be treated with chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant, says MedlinePlus.

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Primary amyloidosis results from excess buildup of antibodies caused by plasma cells. The production of antibodies causes abnormal proteins to build up in certain organs. Amyloidosis is more severe if it affects the kidneys or heart, explains MedlinePlus. Systemic amyloidosis can lead to death in just a few years, and the disease has no cure. However, pain medication and blood-thinning medicine can stave off the spread of amyloidosis, notes Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms of primary amyloidosis include fatigue; an abnormal heart rhythm; swelling in the legs and arms; and weight loss. People might not have symptoms until the disease is in a more advanced stage, according to Mayo Clinic. Urine and blood tests are used to diagnose amyloidosis. Patients undergoing treatment for the disease can treat their symptoms at home by eating healthy food and discontinuing strenuous activities.

If the amyloidosis does not affect the kidneys and heart, a person tends to do better with the disease, notes MedlinePlus. People can still lead fairly healthy lives despite the diagnosis.

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