Wilson’s disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs. Most people with Wilson’s disease are diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 35, but it can affect younger and older people, as well.
Wilson’s disease is present at birth, but signs and symptoms don’t appear until the copper builds up in the brain, liver or other organ. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the parts of your body affected by the disease. They can include:
- Fatigue, lack of appetite or abdominal pain
- A yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eye (jaundice)
- Golden-brown eye discoloration (Kayser-Fleischer rings)
- Fluid buildup in the legs or abdomen
- Problems with speech, swallowing or physical coordination
- Uncontrolled movements or muscle stiffness
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with our doctor if you have signs and symptoms that worry you, especially if a family member has Wilson’s disease.
Untreated, Wilson’s disease can be fatal. Serious complications include:
- Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). As liver cells try to make repairs to damage done by excess copper, scar tissue forms in the liver, making it more difficult for the liver to function.
- Liver failure. This can occur suddenly (acute liver failure), or it can develop slowly over years. A liver transplant might be a treatment option.
- Persistent neurological problems. Tremors, involuntary muscle movements, clumsy gait and speech difficulties usually improve with treatment for Wilson’s disease. However, some people have persistent neurological difficulty despite treatment.
- Kidney problems. Wilson’s disease can damage the kidneys, leading to problems such as kidney stones and an abnormal number of amino acids excreted in the urine.
- Psychological problems. These might include personality changes, depression, irritability, bipolar disorder or psychosis.
- Blood problems. These might include destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis) leading to anemia and jaundice
Consult Dr. Mayank Agarwal
Call or WhatsApp: +91 86380 47364