Signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma can vary from person to person. Although the condition may not cause symptoms early on in its course, it’s likely that you’ll experience one or more of the following as the disease progresses:
- Bone pain, particularly in your back, pelvis, ribs and skull.
- Presence of abnormal proteins — which can be produced by myeloma cells — in your blood or urine. These proteins — which are antibodies or parts of antibodies — are called monoclonal, or M, proteins. Often discovered during a routine exam, monoclonal proteins may indicate multiple myeloma, but also can indicate other conditions.
- High level of calcium in your blood. This can occur when calcium from affected bones dissolves into your blood.
If you have a high calcium level in your blood, you may experience signs and symptoms such as:
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Loss of appetite
- Mental confusion
Other signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma may include:
- Anemia-related fatigue as myeloma cells replace oxygen-carrying red blood cells in your bone marrow
- Unexplained bone fractures
- Repeated infections — such as pneumonia, sinusitis, bladder or kidney infections, skin infections, and shingles
- Weight loss
- Weakness or numbness in your legs
When to see a doctor
If you’re persistently more tired than you used to be, you’ve lost weight, and you experience bone pain, repeated infections, loss of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, persistent nausea, increased constipation, or weakness or numbness in your legs, your signs and symptoms may indicate multiple myeloma or other serious disease. See your doctor to determine the underlying cause.