Chronic conditions tend to affect the way you lead your life; you need to accept the fact that the disease is a part of your life and take measures to coexist with it. One such chronic condition that affects every aspect of a person’s life is amyloidosis. It is caused by a substance called amyloid—an abnormal protein produced by your bone marrow—which gets deposited in any tissue or organ. It can affect any organ, and the most frequently affected are the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, and digestive tract. What makes this condition more formidable is the fact that there is no cure for it; the treatment methods are directed towards keeping the condition under control and managing the symptoms.
Most treatments aim to limit the production of amyloid protein, and this depends on the type of amyloidosis one has. In addition to the regular treatments for amyloidosis, there are certain natural and complementary therapies you can opt for. They are listed as follows:
Severe fatigue and weakness are prominent symptoms of amyloidosis. Daytime fatigue can make it quite difficult for you to sleep at night, especially if you tend to take a lot of naps throughout the day. People with amyloidosis often suffer from insomnia, and this tends to make fatigue during the day even worse. This is how you’ll get stuck in this vicious circle which is made worse by the pain and discomfort you might experience in the middle of the night. In such cases, it is advisable that you speak to your doctor about sleep therapy. It involves meditating and performing deep breathing exercises before bedtime. It will make you fall asleep faster.
The fatigue and weakness caused by amyloidosis will prevent you from trying out any form of exercise. In fact, you might even face cardiac issues if you think about performing intense workouts. Since all high-intensity exercises or running are out of the question due to amyloidosis, it might become difficult choosing a form of physical activity. In such cases, you will have to stick to light- or moderate-intensity exercises, which will ensure that you get the required workout without things getting too strenuous. You can consider opting for Tai Chi, Yoga, and walking programs. Regular exercise plays a vital role in helping people with amyloidosis fight pain and fatigue.
A prominent symptom of amyloidosis is the swelling of the ankles and legs. This can occur due to the fluid buildup in your body. So, you can try to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, and this will prevent fluid buildup. Amyloidosis affects the kidneys, which is why they cannot retain protein efficiently; moreover, it even affects your heart’s ability to pump blood—both these factors can cause swelling in the lower extremities. Too much salt in your diet can also aggravate these issues. In such cases, the doctor might recommend that you stick to a low-salt diet as it will help you manage the swelling. It will also protect your heart and kidneys from further damage.
Amyloidosis brings in a lot of health complications in its wake; some of the major symptoms that include difficulty in swallowing, loss of appetite, swelling of the tongue, or intestinal dysfunction can affect a person’s ability to eat. It is also observed that people with amyloidosis do not receive all the essential nutrients from food as these symptoms hinder them from eating well. Though skipping a meal once in a while doesn’t have disastrous consequences, adhering to this erroneous eating pattern can lead to malnutrition. This, in turn, leads to unintentional weight loss which is collateral damage inflicted by this condition. In such cases, the doctor can suggest meal replacement shakes or smoothies if eating traditional meals is a tedious task for you. Your body will receive all the essential nutrients, and it would help you maintain your energy levels and promote brain and muscle function.
Living with amyloidosis is quite difficult, but combining these natural and complementary therapies with the treatment methods can help keep the condition under control.