Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder which is caused when too much copper is accumulated in the liver, brain and other organs. This can turn into a life-threatening disease. In Wilson’s disorder, the copper isn’t expelled from the body and so it starts to build up in the organs.
The symptoms of Wilson’s disease typically begin from the age of 12. Below are some of the common symptoms of Wilson’s disease.
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 organs. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the parts of your body affected by the disease. They can include:
- Lack of appetite or weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes)
- Fluid buildup in the legs or abdomen
- Problems with speech, swallowing or physical coordination
- Uncontrolled movements or muscle stiffness
The causes of the disease depend on each person’s functioning of the immune system. Some common causes of Wilson’s disease are as below:-
- Family history
- Intake of contaminated water
- Dietary supplements
If diseases that affect our body like the liver are left untreated then it can lead to severe and fatal complications.
- Liver failure
- Kidney issues
- Neurological problems
Diagnosing and detecting Wilson’s disease can be a challenging task as the cause and the sign and symptoms of the disease are not clear. Below are some general tests and procedures that are done to diagnose Wilson’s disease.
- Liver biopsy
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Genetic testing
- Eye exam to check for Kayser-Fleischer rings
Kayser-Fleischer rings are found in the eyes which occur due to the presence of copper in the eyes.
The treatment plan will differ based on the diagnosis and the cause of Wilson’s disease. Below are some treatment options for the disease.
- Relevant prescription medication
- Lifestyle changes
- Home remedies
- Liver transplant