About POEMS 

Please note: This is my interpretation of the disease.  Always confirm your questions with your doctor. 

As for the name of the syndrome, each letter represents a major piece of the disease: 

P – Polyneuropathy

O – Organomegaly

E – Endocrinopathy

M – M protein

S – Skin changes


Polyneuropathy refers to nerve damage (usually affecting the feet and legs) which causes pain, numbness, or a tingling feeling.

 Organomegaly involves the abnormal swelling of organs found in the abdomen (liver, spleen, etc.).

 Endocrinopathy is the disorder in the function of the endocrine gland (thyroid, pancreas, etc.). 

M protein is an antibody or part of an antibody found in unusually large amounts in the blood or urine of patients with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that arises in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). 

Skin changes – some examples include increased pigmentation of the skin, thickening of the skin, and whitening of nails.

 Mike’s symptoms:

  • The neuropathy has been a major source of discomfort.  It started as a numb and tingling feeling in his feet, then moved to his legs.  The pain has continued to grow throughout his search for a diagnosis.  It changed from a tingling feeling to a stabbing feeling.  We have noted that the neuropathy moved up into his arms and hands.
  • Mike had an enlarged spleen.
  • We noted that Mike had a darkening of his skin on his hands and chest.  In addition, he has had whitening of the nails and lips.


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