Wilson's disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes too much copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs. Symptoms typically begin between the ages of 12 and 23. Signs and symptoms vary depending on what parts of the body are affected by Wilson's disease. They may include:
• Fatigue, lack of appetite or abdominal pain
• Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eye
• A tendency to bruise easily
• Fluid buildup in the legs or abdomen
• Problems with speech, swallowing or physical coordination
• Uncontrolled movements or muscle stiffness
HOW IS WILSON'S DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of Wilson's Disease is challenging because symptoms are difficult to distinguish from other diseases. Gastroenterologists may order for blood and urine tests for monitoring liver function. Eye examination, biopsy of liver tissue and genetic testing are diagnostic methods to confirm Wilson's Disease
HOW IS WILSON'S DISEASE TREATED?
If the disease is still in its earlier stages, then the patient is given medicines like Penicillamine, which also include Cuprimine, Depen, etc. Trientine and Zinc acetate are also given. However, for the later stages or more serious conditions a liver transplant become mandatory, which can be from a living family member.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lifelong treatment is needed to control Wilson disease. The disorder may cause fatal effects, especially loss of liver function. Copper can have toxic effects on the nervous system. In cases where the disorder is not fatal, symptoms may be disabling.