Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of amyloidosis depend on the organs it affects. The wide range of symptoms often makes amyloidosis difficult to diagnose. Some people may not experience any symptoms and others may have many symptoms. Frequently described symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe fatigue
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Feeling full after eating smaller amounts of food than usual
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Swelling of the ankles or legs
  • Fainting spells
  • Palpitations of the heart

Based on the organs involved and the resulting symptoms, amyloidosis can cause particular groups of symptoms, referred to by doctors as syndromes. These include:

  • Congestive heart failure, or the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
  • Nephrotic syndrome, the excess loss of protein through the kidneys
  • Autonomic neuropathy, or nerve damage that affects involuntary body functions such as heart rate and perspiration.
  • Peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage that affects the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS relays information between the brain and the spinal cord and the rest of the body.
  • Malabsorption, or problems absorbing nutrients from food.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers


Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant
400 Parnassus Ave., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Existing Patients: (415) 353-2421
New Patients: (415) 353-2051
Fax: (415) 353-2467
Appointment information

Special Programs