The 21st century has definitely witnessed cardinal innovations in the medical fraternity. However, despite the progress in this field; the human race continues to get engulfed with novel forms of life threatening diseases. Amongst this list of diseases endangering the health and happiness of human beings is the medical condition referred to as Amyloidosis. There may be many who would raise eyebrows at the mention of this terminology. Of course, even as a novice in the realm of medical science, one is aware of an array of severe ailments like heart attacks, kidney failures and the much dreaded cancer but Amyloidosis brings you to a completely unfamiliar domain.
Medical Definition and Variants
Amyloidosis is a broad terminology encompassing a category of diseases signifying the extra-ordinary accumulation of a protein named as amyloid in the various body tissues and organs. There is no specific organ that is particularly susceptible to this protein build up and therefore this medical condition can strike any organ either individually or could affect the entire body systems. This disease has three main variants in the human body.
- Primary Amyloidosis (AL) – This is the most widespread form of the condition. This occurs mainly due to the overproduction of a segment of antibody proteins by the bone marrow. This results in the accumulation of the excessive protein in the stream of blood and body tissues.
- Secondary Amyloidosis (AA) – This variant is observed in amalgamation with certain other severe medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.
- Familial Amyloidosis – This is the hereditary form of the disease that is transmitted through the genes. This variant is commonly observed to attack the kidney and the nerves.
The medical fraternity still stands bewildered with the exact cause of Amyloidosis. Research conducted over the years, highlights ageing as a key aspect in triggering this condition. Oxidation of free radicals in the human body is recognized as a causal agent. People with disorders of the immune system are suspected to be more vulnerable to this disease.
Am I at Risk?
You could be in the high risk zone of contracting this disorder, if you fall under any of the following subheads that is you are older than 50 years of age, are suffering from diseases enveloping the plasma cells or inflammatory medical disorders, have been undergoing dialysis, have a family history of the disease or belong to the masculine gender as men are known to be at a higher risk.
Signs Indicating the Disorder
Some of the indicators include constant fatigue, breathlessness, inflammation in the legs and ankle area, numbness or tingling sensation in the feet and hands, especially the wrist area, loss of appetite and weight, bloody stool accompanied by constipation or diarrhea, swollen tongue, problems with swallowing food, unsystematic heart rate and changes in skin coloration and thickness.
Procedure of Diagnosis
Since several symptoms of Amyloidosis are known to be overlapping with other health disorders, detailed testing becomes important to the diagnosis of the condition. The diagnosis procedure includes blood and urine tests, biopsy and imaging of the affected organ.
Method of Treatment
Although there is no potential cure for Amyloidosis, certain treatments have been defined to restrict the progression of the disease. The line of treatment for AL encompasses chemotherapy that aims at arresting the spread of the cells manufacturing amyloid and stem cell transplant involving peripheral blood. While the only mode of treatment for AA is medication, hereditary variant of Amyloidosis could be tackled with liver transplants.
Home Remedies Could Act as Saviour
Since there is no definite cure for this health disorder, alternative forms of therapy could be explored to facilitate the arrest or reduction in symptoms of the disease. Incorporation of antioxidants in your diet could certainly aid in slackening the pace of the diseases. If you are in the high risk of contraction or are a patient of Amyloidosis, you could endeavor to follow these home remedies that may rescue your condition to a certain extent.
- Research demonstrates that amyloid enhancing factor present in diseased forms of meat tends to accelerate the pace of the disease. Therefore, it is advisable to cut down on meat consumption.
- Incorporate fish oil supplements in your daily diet. Consuming 1000 mg tablet once or twice a day could add to the deposits of omega-3 fatty acids that in return are believed to prevent the onset of the disease.
- Eat foods high in vitamin C. High proportions of vitamin C are known to trigger the disintegration of amyloid. This vitamin is naturally present in citrus fruits.
- Try to restrict the intake of caffeine, milk derivatives, processed food items and refined forms of sugar
- Keep the intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, all kinds of nuts, fish surviving in cold water high in your daily dietary regime.
Certain herbs such as Gingko and Pycnogenol that are rich in flavonoids are also canvassed as a mode of treating this disease. If making these slight alterations in your lifestyle can save you from this potent health disorder, there seems no harm in following this diet regime. After all, health is truly one’s wealth!