During the early stages of myeloma, there may be no symptoms. Most people first go to their doctor because of vague symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose, such as fatigue, recurrent infections or back pain.
Why It Occurs
Pain in the lower back, ribs or sternum
Osteolytic lesions weaken the bone, resulting in tiny fractures or even the collapse of a vertebra in the spine. About 70% of myeloma patients come to medical attention because of pain.
The increased number of myeloma cells can decrease the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to anemia.
Recurrent infections; cold sores
Due to crowding in the bone marrow, the production of a variety of infection-fighting white blood cells is reduced. The immune system is unable to fight off infections and illnesses.
Tiredness accompanied by other symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination, nausea or muscle weakness
The breakdown of bone releases excess amounts of calcium into the blood (hypercalcemia). Hypercalcemia can result in a number of symptoms, such as loss of appetite, fatigue, muscle weakness, restlessness, difficulty in thinking, confusion, constipation, increased thirst, increased urine production, and nausea and vomiting.
Kidney (renal) problems
Excessive protein in the blood (which is filtered through the kidneys), excessive light chains in the urine or high levels of calcium in the blood can cause kidney damage.
Often, these symptoms may not be due to myeloma; other health problems can cause the same symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should tell their doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
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