What is MGUS?
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a condition in which an abnormal protein known as monoclonal protein or M protein is in your bloodstream.
This abnormal protein is formed within the bone marrow, the soft, blood-producing tissue that fills in the middle of most of the bones.
The disorder occurs most commonly in older men.
It generally causes no problems. But sometimes it can progress to more serious diseases, such as some types of blood cancer.
When you have high amounts of this protein in your blood, it’s important to get regular checkups so that you can get sooner treatment if it does progress.
When there’s no disease progression, it doesn’t require treatment.
Individuals with monoclonal gammopathy don’t experience signs or symptoms. Some individuals can experience rash or nerve problems, such as numbness or tingling.
MGUS is usually detected by chance whenever you have a blood test for another condition.
The precise cause of MGUS isn’t known. Genetic changes and environmental triggers seem to play an important role.
Factors that increase your risk:
- Age. The average age at diagnosis is 70 decades.
- Race. Africans and African Americans are more likely to experience MGUS than are white men and women.
- Sex. MGUS is more prevalent in men.
- Family history. You may get a greater chance of MGUS if other people in your family have the condition.
Every Year about 1% of people with MGUS goes to develop certain types of blood cancers or other serious ailments such as:
Other complications associated with MGUS include bone fractures, blood clots, and kidney issues.
This problem generally causes no symptoms, it’s usually detected by chance through blood tests for different ailments.
Afterward, your Physician might recommend:
More detailed blood tests: These can help rule out other causes of elevated protein levels and also may check for kidney impairment.
Urine Test: A 24-hour urine collection can help determine if the abnormal protein has been released into your pee. Additionally, it may assess any resulting kidney damage.
Imaging tests: If you’re having bone pain, your physician might suggest an MRI or positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
The pictures can help your doctor find bone abnormalities linked to it.
Your bone density also may need to be assessed.
Bone marrow evaluation: A hollow needle may get rid of a portion of your bone marrow from the trunk of one of your hipbones.
Bone marrow analysis is usually done only when you’re in danger of developing more severe disease or if you’ve got unexplained anemia, kidney failure, bone lesions, or higher calcium levels.
These conditions don’t require treatment. However, your doctor is very likely to recommend periodic checkups to monitor your health, probably starting six months following your diagnosis.
If you’re at elevated risk of MGUS developing into a more serious condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent checkups so that any progress can be diagnosed and treatment started as soon as possible.
Your physician is likely to watch for symptoms and signs such as:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Fever or night sweats
- Headache, Dizziness, Nerve pain, or Changes in Vision or Hearing
- Anemia or other blood clots
- Swollen lymph nodes, liver, or spleen
If you have osteoporosis, your physician may suggest a medication to increase bone density.
Examples include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia), ibandronate (Boniva), and zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa).
Preparing for the appointment:
You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist).
It is a fantastic idea to be well-prepared for your appointment. Here is some information that will assist you to get prepared, and what to expect from the doctor.
What you can do:
- List any symptoms you’re experiencing, such as those that may seem unrelated to the cause you scheduled the appointment.
- List key private information, including any significant stresses or current life changes.
- List all medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements you take, such as doses.
- Ask a family member or friend to come with you. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you through an appointment.
Someone who accompanies you may remember something which you missed or forgot.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
For MGUS, a few basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Do these tests require any special preparation?
- How often do I want to program follow-up visits and testing?
- Do you recommend any therapy or lifestyle changes?
- I have other health conditions. How do I best manage these conditions collectively?
- Don’t hesitate to ask other questions you have.
Things to expect from the doctor:
Your doctor is very likely to ask you several questions, such as:
- Do you have any numbness or tingling in your hands and feet?
- Do you have osteoporosis?
- Can you have a family history of this problem?
- Perhaps you have had a blood clot?
- Have you ever experienced a broken bone?
- Have you ever had cancer?
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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Q: What is MGUS?
A: Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is a state in which an abnormal protein known as monoclonal protein or M protein is in your blood.
This strange protein is formed within the bone marrow, the soft, blood-producing tissue which fills in the middle of most of the bones. The disorder occurs most commonly in older men.
Q: How serious is MGUS?
A: This condition isn’t a reason for concern and does not have any adverse health effects. However, people with MGUS have a marginally increased risk of developing blood and bone marrow diseases. These include serious blood cancers, like multiple myeloma or lymphoma.
Q: Is MGUS an autoimmune disease?
A: Multiple myeloma (MM) and its precursor, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, have been connected with different autoimmune conditions in the medical literature.
Q: Is monoclonal gammopathy a cancer?
A: Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell. Their primary occupation is to fight infection. The most frequent condition linked with these abnormal proteins is monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. It is not cancer.
Q: Can you die from MGUS?
A: Mostly the people with MGUS die of heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), or cancer conducive to multiple myelomas such as cancer of the prostate, breasts, lung, or colon.
Q: Can MGUS turn into leukemia?
A: MGUS is an asymptomatic condition in which there is a presence of an abnormal M protein in the blood. It is not a blood cancer, and most people with MGUS do not ever develop blood cancer.