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MGUS diagnosis and monitoring

We're here for you if you want to talk

0808 2080 888

[email protected]

MGUS doesn’t need treatment, but you will have regular check-ups. If your test results stay the same over time, you may need check-ups less often or even stop needing them.

Does MGUS have symptoms?

In most cases, MGUS has no effect on how you feel physically. You are unlikely to have any symptoms and won’t need treatment, but you will have regular check-ups to monitor the MGUS.

A few people with MGUS experience numbness or tingling in their hands and feet, or problems with their balance. This is a type of nerve damage that’s sometimes caused by paraprotein in the blood. The medical name for this is peripheral neuropathy.

If you start having these symptoms or you notice them getting worse, let your doctor know. They may refer you to a neurologist, a doctor who specialises in conditions of the nervous system.

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What are the tests to diagnose MGUS?

If you have a blood test that shows you have paraprotein in your blood, it’s likely that your doctor will discuss the test results with a specialist (consultant). They might also send you to see the specialist.

You may have more blood tests and sometimes scans to rule out myeloma, lymphoma or any other blood condition.

Here’s a list of the tests you are likely to have:

You may have blood tests for the following reasons:

  • to measure the type and level of paraprotein and light chains in your blood
  • to measure the number of normal blood cells in your blood (this is called a full blood count)
  • to check your kidneys and liver are working properly
  • to check the level of calcium in your blood.

You may also be asked to give samples of your urine (wee), so it can be checked for paraprotein and light chains.

If the paraprotein level in your blood is high, your full blood count or kidney tests are abnormal or you have some symptoms, your doctor may suggest you have a bone marrow biopsy. This is normally done as an outpatient, so you do not have to stay in hospital overnight.

In some cases, you may have X-rays, CT or MRI scans to check for bone damage.

We have more information about tests.

What will happen at my check-ups?

At your check-ups, you’ll have more blood tests and sometimes urine tests to see if there have been any changes since your last appointment. Your doctor or nurse will also ask you if there’s been any change in how you feel.

If your results don’t vary much and you don’t have any symptoms, you may need check-ups less often or may not need them at all.

Can I see my blood test results?

You can ask for a printout of your blood test results. Make sure you ask your doctor to explain what the results mean.

Should I make any changes to my daily life?

There is no evidence that lifestyle changes make a difference to whether MGUS progresses. The important thing is to go to your check-ups and tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any changes in your health.

You may find it helpful to follow general advice on healthy eating and exercise from the NHS. This can help with your emotional well-being as well as your physical health.

Because MGUS affects your antibodies, you may be more likely than the general population to get infections from bugs like bacteria and viruses. So it’s important to follow standard hygiene and food safety advice. You should also make sure you have all the recommended vaccinations (jabs). Ask your GP if you’re not sure which ones you should have.

You may want to read our information about avoiding infection.

Am I at higher risk from covid-19?

Recent research suggests that having MGUS does not increase your risk of getting seriously ill from covid-19. So people with MGUS are not recommended to take extra precautions, unless they are in a high risk group for another reason.

Keeping active

Being more active can improve your mood as well as your physical well-being. Find out how to get started.

Ways to move more