Amyloidosis is a term used for a group of diseases that are caused by deposition of abnormal proteins called amyloids. The human body has many proteins which perform various functions but, in some situations, these proteins become abnormal, loose their function, and stick to each other forming long bulky fibers. These amyloid proteins are toxic and can cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. Timely diagnosis and treatment are important to alter the course of this disease.
What is Cardiac Amyloidosis
Accumulation of abnormal proteins called amyloids in the heart muscle is referred to as amyloid heart disease or cardiac amyloidosis. When amyloid deposits in the heart wall, it increases the thickness of the muscle causing it to stiffen. This affects your heart’s ability to pump blood and relax. This leads to congestive heart failure, which causes shortness of breath and swelling of your legs or abdomen due to the accumulation of fluid.
The buildup of amyloids in the heart can also cause irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart blockage that could require a pacemaker.
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