Amyloidosis is caused by an abnormal protein that accumulates in organs, like the heart, kidneys or liver. In the heart, for example, it stiffens the walls of the heart, making it much less efficient at pumping blood through the body.
Some notable Pennsylvanians were amyloidosis victims, including former Gov. Robert Casey Sr. and former Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri.
It sometimes takes medical detective work to diagnose amyloidosis because symptoms can be the same as other conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome. Other red flags for possible amyloidosis include an irregular heartbeat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, severe fatigue and swelling in the legs and ankles.
“If you catch the disease early, then patients can expect a normal quality of life and normal life span.” - Sabahat Bokhari, MD