Diet and nutrition (AL amyloidosis) Infosheet

This Infosheet explains what a well-balanced diet is, what makes it difficult to maintain when you are an AL amyloidosis patient, when a special diet might be necessary and tips for eating a well-balanced diet.

AL amyloidosis patients often have queries about diet and nutrition – about what types of foods are best to eat or avoid, or if there are any special diets they should follow. Despite the significant interest in alternative diets, none have been scientifically studied so their effects are unknown and unproven. This means there is a lack of evidence to support any alternative or specific diets in AL amyloidosis.

Dietary, salt or fluid restrictions may be necessary due to heart or kidney problems in some patients which your doctor will advise you of. Otherwise, AL amyloidosis patients should follow the same basic principles of healthy eating that apply to us all. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help to maintain your muscles and strength, increase your energy levels and may help recovery after treatment. A balanced diet is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals and can help the immune system to function more effectively.

This infosheet also covers the taking of vitamins and dietary supplements, and how you should let your doctor know, as some can inhibit the actions of drugs used to treat AL amyloidosis.

One of the most common and serious side effects of AL amyloidosis patients is fluid overload. Fluid overload happens when you are taking in more fluid than your kidneys can remove. To prevent this, you should keep your fluid intake steady, to no more than 1.5 litres (about 3 pints) a day. This includes all fluids – water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. You should also keep the amount of salt you have in your food to a minimum.