Nephrotic Syndrome

What is Nephrotic Syndrome?

  • The Nephrotic Syndrome is a vague disorder which includes a medical condition that causes damage to the kidneys. The damage results in leakage of proteins present in the blood stream into the urine of a person.
  • The kidney of a person who suffers from the Nephrotic syndrome develops minute openings in the podocytes. Because of these pores or openings, the person suffers from Proteinuria and later on develops Hypoalbuminemia which is caused due to the proteins that enter the urine from the blood stream. There can also be a situation where in the red blood cells may pass through these minute openings causing the person to end up with Hematuria.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • The person who has this disorder will have some visible symptoms on his face such as swelling in the region of his eyes after waking up in the morning.
  •  His arms and legs will also become sore and he will feel sore in his ankles. In addition to this, the person’s belly, abdomen and the regions around his belly would be swollen up. The main reason for this soreness in the body parts is due to Edema and it is regarded as the most familiar symptom.
  • There are other signs which one can witness such as soapy look of the urine while urinating. Excess gain of weight possibly caused due to withholding fluids in the body which is also a symptom of the Nephrotic Syndrome.
  • Decreasing appetite and loss of interest in eating food is regarded as one of the early signs of this syndrome. The prolonged detection of high blood pressure in the person can be one of the signs that show the presence of this syndrome.

Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome:

  • The primary cause of the Nephrotic Syndrome is due to the passage of proteins present in the blood stream into the urine of a person. This causes damage to the kidney and specifically to the crypt membrane of the glomerulus.
  • This disorder can also affect children. This syndrome in children happens due to the minimal change disease and this syndrome in adults takes place due to membranous glomerulonephritis.
  • The other causes of this syndrome are sore throat, hepatitis A or B, and mononucleosis. The syndrome is also prone to occur when a person suffers from diabetes and also due to systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple myeloma and also because of Amyloidosis.
  • Other reasons that specialists give for this syndrome is use of certain drugs which damage the kidneys. Specialists also blame cancer, a weak immune system and the disease mentioned above for the Nephrotic Syndrome.
  • The Nephrotic Syndrome is dangerous because it may be an adjunct to other diseases at the same time such as glomerulonephritis, segmental and focal glomerulosclerosis and also mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis.
  • This syndrome can have an effect on people of all age groups and statistically children between the age group 2 and 6 are more prone to it than other age groups. Many surveys and studies have concluded that more than women, men are potentially more prone to contract this disease.

Prevention and Treatment of Nephrotic Syndrome:

  • If one witnesses the symptoms and signs of the syndrome which are mentioned above, then one should make no delays in visiting a specialist for tests to determine the presence of this syndrome.
  • Doctors generally perform some blood tests to check whether the person has the syndrome. The person is supposed to undergo various blood tests such as creatine blood tests, Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) which determines the amount of nitrogen present in the urine, and Urinalysis which is critical to see if high levels of proteins are present in the urine. In some difficult cases doctor’s advice the patients to go for Kidney biopsies which determines the damage to the kidneys.
  • The Nephrotic Syndrome severely affects the kidneys and hence treatment is crucial. It is possible that the doctors may advise the treatment to continue for the rest of the person’s life.
  • The doctors medicate the patients in such a way that the blood pressure of the person remains under control which helps in reducing the damage to the kidneys.
  • The doctors will also prescribe some drugs which will curb the immune system especially the drug - Corticosteroids. The doctors will also advise the patients to strictly reduce their cholesterol levels as high cholesterol levels are dangerous and cause heart troubles.