Nephrotic Syndrome is a condition which is characterised by the loss of protein into the urine (called proteinuria) as a result of increased glomerular permeability and oedema. This results in low protein level in the blood. The low levels of protein in blood result in the drawing of fluids into soft tissues. A severe form ‘hypoalbuminemia’ can cause scores of secondary diseases such as ascites (retention of fluid in the abdominal cavity), pleural effusion (build-up of fluids between the lungs and the chest), or high cholesterol. It can also result in retention of fluid in other parts of the body such as eyelids, lower extremities etc.
What can cause this?
Nephrotic syndrome is mainly caused by damage to the kidneys. This leads to an increase in the concentration of protein in the urine. In adults, it can be caused due to glomerulonephritis or damage to the glomerulus of the kidneys while in children it is likely caused by minimal change disease (kidney disease marked by the abnormal loss of protein through the urine).
The other common causes of nephritic syndromes are:
Diet that is recommended in Nephrotic Syndrome:
In patients diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome, the intake of salt, fat and protein must be checked. There should be emphasis on the consumption of dietary fibres that are present in vegetables and fruits.
The intake of protein and fluid should also be monitored, but this solely depends on personal factors such as age, weight and condition of the patient. It is recommended to consult a renal dietician who can guide you appropriately.
“You are what you eat”. Nephrotic syndrome can slowly progress to chronic kidney disease if the necessary steps are not taken to curb it in an early stage, and diet control is a major way to do so.