Nephrotic Syndrome refers to a condition where your body excretes excess protein in the urine. It is not a disease in itself; certain disorders that impair the blood vessels in your kidneys are responsible for the condition.
Nephrotic Syndrome, which affects children and adults alike, can last for years or be lifelong.
What causes Nephrotic Syndrome?
The kidneys are filled with glomeruli – tiny blood vessels. The excess water and waste materials are filtered into the urine, as blood moves through them. Proteins and other essential nutrients remain in the bloodstream. However, when an underlying disease or condition damages the glomeruli and impedes its functioning, the proteins leak into your urine and Nephrotic Syndrome occurs.
Certain conditions like Renal Vein Thrombosis, Membranous Nephropathy, Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, Lupus, and Amyloidosis can affect your kidney or the whole body, thereby leading to Nephrotic syndrome.
Symptoms to Watch Out for –
A person with Nephrotic Syndrome will likely experience these symptoms –
Foamy urine due to the presence of surplus protein
Swelling around the eyes, and in the feet and ankles
Weight gain due to fluid build-up in the body
If you too have been encountering the above signs, consult a doctor and get yourself checked immediately.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Urine tests, blood tests and kidney biopsy – these are the three diagnostic methods used by doctors to detect Nephrotic Syndrome.
The condition has no cure. Nevertheless, there are ways that can help you manage the symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome.
Certain medications like Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers bring down your blood pressure and lower the lost amount of protein in your urine
Blood thinners and anticoagulants reduce blood clots
Corticosteroids may be given to reduce the inflammation caused by underlying disease/conditions
Diuretics or water pills increase the fluid output of your kidney, and thus, manages swelling in the body if any
Reduce the intake of fat to keep your cholesterol levels in check
Limit your salt intake to prevent high blood pressure and swelling
Limit your fluid intake to reduce swelling
People, especially children with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome (born with the condition) may require kidney transplant – a procedure by which the surgeon replaces the decayed kidney with a healthy one from a donor.
Once the underlying condition is managed successfully with the help of medications, surgery and specific lifestyle changes, Nephrotic Syndrome improves.