3 Symptoms to Watch Out for With Multiple Myeloma
The symptoms of multiple myeloma can be subtle and may mimic other diseases, so it is important to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. There are a variety of tests and treatments available, but a timely diagnosis can help you avoid complications.
Fatigue and Infection
Fatigue may be one of the earliest symptoms of multiple myeloma. It is often paired with frequent infections or infections that do not clear up normally. This occurs because the buildup of cancerous cells prevents your body from creating normal antibodies to fight off disease. Your body is forced to work harder, leading to exhaustion. Cancerous white blood cells can also interfere with red blood cells, causing anemia. The condition may also be paired with mental symptoms, such as confusion and disorientation.
Pain and Bone Problems
As the abnormal cells accumulate in the marrow, the condition causes the bone itself to weaken. This may first manifest as unexplained bone pain. The chest and spine are common sites for it. You may also easily break bones, even after minor injuries or impacts. Some people experience weakness or numbness in their legs.
One of the most severe symptoms of multiple myeloma is kidney damage, which can eventually progress into total kidney failure if left untreated. The abnormal cells in the bone marrow release proteins your kidneys cannot process properly. Kidney damage can lead to nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, frequent urination and constipation. It may contribute to the weakness, fatigue and mental fog caused by your body working too hard to fight infections. Some people experience sleep problems and muscle twitches. These symptoms may be subtle at first but worsen as the disease progresses.
Multiple myeloma is a rare disease, which can make the symptoms easy to miss. This cancer affects the white blood cells your body uses to fight infection. At first, multiple myeloma may have no symptoms and require no treatment. However, cancerous white blood cells build up in the bone marrow as the disease progresses and can cause some uncomfortable symptoms.