A delayed diagnosis of amyloidosis could put your life at risk

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When you don’t feel well, you may put off going to the doctor in the hopes that whatever it is will go away. However, when it doesn’t, you go to see a doctor to find out what’s wrong and get help.

In some cases, your symptoms lead to a clear diagnosis and a course of treatment that makes you feel better within a few days. In other cases, your symptoms could lead to different diagnoses, and you rely on the persistence and skills of your doctor to reach the right one in order to get your treatment started as quickly as possible. The problem is that some doctors fail to take the appropriate steps within time to make a difference.

Diagnosing Amyloidosis takes persistence

A rare disease called Amyloidosis occurs when an abnormal protein called amyloid accumulates in your organs. It comes from your bone marrow and could reach into any organ or tissue in your body, but it mostly attacks the following:

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Digestive tract
  • Heart
  • Nervous system

You may not even know something is wrong until you begin to suffer symptoms. The problem is that the symptoms often look like other conditions unrelated to this one. If your doctor does not go the extra mile in order to diagnose your condition in a timely manner, you could continue to suffer damage to your organs as you wait.

You should know that this condition has no cure, but treatments can help limit amyloid protein production and manage your symptoms. The trick is to get the right diagnosis in time to prevent organ failure, which could threaten your life.

Symptoms to watch for

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may want to go to your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Significant and unintentional weight loss
  • Swollen legs and urine changes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Weakness, pain, tingling or numbness in your feet or hands
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Skin changes
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Dizziness when standing

As you can see, many of these symptoms could indicate a variety of illnesses other than amyloidosis. Other than a family history of the condition, your doctor should look at other risk factors, such as your age, race and gender. If you are on kidney dialysis or suffered from a condition that could predispose you to this disease, your doctor should pay particular attention to that information.

If your doctor keeps sending you home without the proper diagnosis and a treatment not designed for this disease, your symptoms will more than likely worsen. When you finally receive the appropriate diagnosis, the damage done to your body could adversely affect your life forever. It’s possible your doctor’s delay in diagnosing your condition constitutes medical malpractice. It may be worthwhile to find out.