Lupus Nephritis Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diet and Prognosis

What is Lupus Nephritis?

Lupus Nephritis is a type of kidney inflammation, which is the common complication of systematic lupus erythematosus - more commonly known as lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system produces proteins called autoantibodies that attack your own tissues and organs. When the lupus autoantibodies affect structures in your kidneys that filter wastes, it will cause kidney inflammation and lead to lupus nephritis. In addition, it may lead to blood in urine (hematuria), protein in the urine (proteinuria), high blood pressure, impaired kidney function or even kidney failure.

How to diagnose lupus nephritis?

It is necessary to make accurate diagnosis of lupus nephritis, then patients can receive correct treatment plan. The following are some of the tests that can help diagnose lupus nephritis.

- Blood test: the levels of creatinine, BUN, uric acid, etc, in blood can reflect whether kidneys can function normally. It will show the kidney function left to patients.

- Urine test: in this test, it can show proteinuria or blood in urine.

- 24-hour urine collection: It is used to measure the kidney filters' ability to filter wastes.

- Ultrasound: This test can help show kidney size and kidney shape.

- Kidney biopsy: kidney biopsy is often needed to distinguish lupus nephritis from other kidney disease and determine the treatment plan.

What are symptoms of Lupus Nephritis?

The symptoms of lupus nephritis may include high blood pressure, foamy urine and edema, usually in legs, feet or ankles and less often in the hands or face.

Kidney problems often develop at the same time or shortly after lupus symptoms appear and can include

- Joint pain or swelling

- Muscle pain

- Fever with no cause

- Red rashes, often on the face, which are also called butterfly rashes because of their shape

What should be treatment for Lupus Nephritis?

It is difficult to manage the lupus nephritis, and patients should accept effective treatment timely, which can help stop or even reverse the progress of this disease. Here are some common treatment options for lupus nephritis patients.

- Corticosteroids: these medications can help reduce kidney inflammation reactions, so as to ease some of the symptoms like proteinuria, swelling, hematuria, etc. But long term intake of these medicines can cause potential serious side effects, so patients should use it by following advice of the doctor.

- Immunosuppressants: These drugs work through inhibiting immune system activity from damaging kidney, but they can't eliminate immune complexes and repair damaged kidney cells.

- Plasma exchange: plasma exchange is a good choice for lupus nephritis patients, because using clean plasma can exchange immune complexes and other toxins from patient's body, which is commonly used to treat moderate or end stage lupus nephritis.

- Toxin-Removing Treatment: this is a systematic Chinese medicine treatment, which can be used to clear blood and repair kidney damage, then lupus nephritis can be controlled from root. With early treatment, lupus nephritis has great chance to get cured.

Pay attention: These therapies should be used based on the specific illness condition of lupus nephritis patients, so you should follow the advice of professional doctors. Wish you can get a better prognosis.

How to make a healthy diet plan for lupus nephritis patients?

Diet plays an important role in lupus nephritis patients, which can help slow down the progression of this disease. Here are some of the diet principles for lupus nephritis patients:

- Keep a low protein diet

- Limit the sodium or salt intake

- Try to get rid of saturated fat

- Increase the intake of high-calcium foods to some extent

- Avoid spicy and greasy foods, keep a light diet

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