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IgA Nephropathy

What is IgA Nephropathy?

IgA Nephropathy is a condition that causes damage on the glomeruli inside your kidneys and can cause kidney disease. Immunoglobin A Nephropathy can be shorted for IgAN.

What causes IgA Nephropathy?

It is a response from your immune system (your body's defense system) to outside irritation (like viruses). The immune response is what affects your kidneys. The immune response releases Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Immunoglobulin A is a protein that helps your body fight infections. IgA nephropathy occurs when IgA protein gets stuck in kidneys causing inflammation. The inflammation causes your kidneys to leak blood and protein (usually immediately) and over the course of many years, your kidneys can lose function and lead to kidney failure.

What are symptoms of IgA Nephropathy?

Each person may have a different set of signs and symptoms from IgAN. The most common signs are

Hematuria: Having blood in your urine that can sometimes make it dark brown or cola colored.

Proteinuria: Foamy urine due to large amounts of protein leaking into your urine.

What is the treatment for IgA Nephropathy?

Your doctor may prescribe you some medicines to control your symptoms. For example:

Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs are used to calm your immune system and stop it from attacking your glomeruli.

ACE inhibitors and ARBs are blood pressure medications used to reduce protein loss and control your blood pressure.

What is the diet for IgA Nephropathy?

Some patients may benefit from limiting protein in their diet to reduce the buildup of waste in the blood. Salt and fluids may be restricted to control swelling.

What is the prognosis of IgA Nephropathy?

Everyone is different in how they responde to treatment. Some patients with IgA Nephropathy slowly get worse until they reach kidney failure. Some people responde well to treatment and may live with the disease for many years while being monitored for any signs of change.

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