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AL amyloidosis and the kidney Infosheet

This Infosheet explains how AL amyloidosis can affect the kidneys, what the symptoms of AL amyloidosis kidney disease are, how it can be treated and some tips for self-management.

AL amyloidosis patients are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease caused by the build-up of amyloid deposits in their kidneys.

AL amyloidosis kidney disease can have a significant impact on your quality of life, especially if left untreated. It is  important to be vigilant of the early symptoms of kidney disease and report them to your doctor or nurse as soon as possible to minimise long term damage. There are several treatments for managing kidney disease, which include limiting salt and fluid intake, diuretics and daily weight checks.

Kidney disease can develop slowly and may not cause symptoms in the early stages.

One of the most common symptoms of kidney disease is oedema (the retention of abnormally large amounts of fluid
in the body). This occurs when the kidneys are unable to excrete excess fluid, causing symptoms such as:

  • Swelling in the lower legs
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Rapid increase in body weight
  • Coughing and/or trouble breathing

The infosheet also details further symptoms to be aware of.

The most effective treatment for AL amyloidosis kidney disease is to treat the underlying AL
amyloidosis, while controlling the symptoms and complications of the kidney disease.

There are several treatments that can help to control the symptoms and complications:

  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Diuretics
  • Erythropoietin (EPO)
  • Dialysis – haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.