Nephrotic syndrome is the disease of the kidneys in which they pass out a lot of proteins. Your kidneys filter the waste material and excrete it out as urine. They keep the essential nutrients as per your body’s needs. But in nephrotic syndrome, their functioning is affected, and they filter out too much protein in the urine. It usually happens when damage to the glomeruli- the tiny filtering units in your kidneys occurs.
The common symptom of nephrotic syndrome is swelling in the body, particularly the ankles and legs. It can also put you at risk of other health conditions. To treat it, the healthcare providers will look into its underlying cause. And will try to resolve that condition and will prescribe you medications accordingly.
Nephrotic syndrome, if left untreated, can become life-threatening. Therefore you should visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have a complaint of edema, particularly in the ankles and legs. To consult about your kidney health, you can visit the Best Nephrologist in Karachi.
Nephrotic syndrome can lead to complications such as an increased chance of blood clots and infections. To prevent that, your healthcare providers will prescribe you medications. Make sure to take them. They might also order you to make dietary and lifestyle changes if you have nephrotic syndrome, as your kidneys can not work well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nephrotic Syndrome?
The signs and symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are:
- Edema or severe swelling in the body, especially around the eyes, ankles, and feet.
- Urine becomes foamy due to the presence of protein in it.
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain due to swelling and fluid retention
What Causes Nephrotic Syndrome?
Nephrotic syndrome occurs when the glomeruli- tiny filtering units of your kidneys do not work well. Generally, your glomeruli filter waste and keep the required amount of proteins, most commonly albumin, to maintain water balance in the body. But when they get damaged, they start to excrete out protein too from your body. It can have various consequences for your body. However, there can be other factors that can lead to glomeruli damage. They can be:
Uncontrolled diabetes can harm your body in many ways, especially the kidneys. When blood glucose levels are elevated, your body tends to get rid of it by excreting it in the urine. Generally, your kidneys do not filter glucose. But when that happens, they damage the glomeruli because of their high molecular sizes. Therefore it can lead to nephrotic syndrome.
Minimal Change Disease
Minimal change disease is common in children. It causes abnormal kidney functions. But when the kidney tissue is examined under the microscope, it does not indicate any abnormality. The cause of this change is hard to know.
In this condition, the glomerular tissues become scarred. It can occur due to reasons, such as genetic conditions, medication intake, or for no such reason.
It is a condition in which a thick membrane forms surrounding your glomeruli. Often it happens due to immune system hyperactivation or other health conditions such as malaria, hepatitis B, lupus, or cancer. However, it can occur for no reason.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE, is an autoimmune condition in which serious kidney damage can occur.
It is a condition in which amyloid protein builds up in your organs. Therefore it can damage your kidneys too. Often it damages the glomeruli.
What Are The Risk Factors For Glomerulonephritis?
The risk factors for glomerulonephritis can be:
- Having diseases that can damage your kidneys, such as uncontrolled diabetes, reflux nephropathy, amyloidosis, and other health conditions.
- Consuming certain medications for a long time. They can be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics such as aminoglycosides.
- Having certain infections such as malaria, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV can increase the risk of getting glomerulonephritis.
What Are The Complications Of Nephrotic Syndrome?
Glomerulonephritis can lead to various complications. Some of them are:
- Increased chance of blood clots
- High blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Low serum vitamin D
- Increased risk of infection
- Acute or chronic kidney disease.
- Due to nephrotic syndrome, your kidney function can decline over time. So you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The Bottom Line
Nephrotic syndrome is a serious health condition that needs to be treated soon. If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit the healthcare provider soon. To get an expert opinion, you can consult Prof. Dr. Iffat Yazdani.