Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia is often found in people who have a chronic (long-lasting) inflammatory condition, such as an autoimmune disease or hepatitis C. Most people with mixed cryoglobulinemia have a chronic hepatitis C infection. Cryoglobulins are antibodies. It is not yet known why they become solid or gel-like at low temperatures. When this occurs, these antibodies can block blood vessels. This may lead to problems ranging from skin rashes to kidney failure. Cryoglobulinemia is the presence of these abnormal proteins in the blood. Although the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated, cryoglobulin formation is clearly linked to the attempt of the host to clear the significant quantities of virions generated daily by the chronic infection.
Other conditions that may be related to cryoglobulinemia include: leukemia, multiple myeloma, mycoplasma pneumonia, primary macroglobulinemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Symptoms will vary depending on the type of disorder you have and the organs that are involved. Symptoms may include: breathing problems, fatigue, glomerulonephritis, joint pain, muscle pain, purpura, raynaud’s phenomenon, skin death, and skin ulcers.