Nephrotic Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diet and Prognosis

What Is Nephrotic Syndrome?

Nephrotic syndrome is usually caused by damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in your kidneys that filter waste and excess water from your blood. Nephrotic syndrome causes swelling (edema), particularly in your feet and ankles, and increases the risk of other health problems.

What Causes Nephrotic Syndrome?

Nephrotic syndrome has many causes and may either be the result of a glomerular disease that can be either limited to the kidney, called primary nephrotic syndrome (primary glomerulonephrosis), or a condition that affects the kidney and other parts of the body, called secondary nephrotic syndrome.

What are Symptoms Of Nephrotic Syndrome?

Signs and symptoms of nephrotic syndrome include:

Severe swelling (edema), particularly around your eyes and in your ankles and feet

Foamy urine, which may be caused by excess protein in your urine

Weight gain due to excess fluid retention

What Is The Treatment of Nephrotic Syndrome?

Your doctor may recommend medications that may help control your signs and symptoms or treat complications of nephrotic syndrome. Medications may include:

Blood pressure medications. Drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors reduce blood pressure and also reduce the amount of protein released in urine.

Water pills. Water pills (diuretics) help control swelling by increasing your kidneys' fluid output. Diuretic medications include furosemide (Lasix) and spironolactone (Aldactone).

Blood thinners. Medications called anticoagulants help decrease your blood's ability to clot and reduce your risk of developing blood clots. Anticoagulants include heparin or warfarin (Coumadin).

Immune system-suppressing medications. Medications to control the immune system, such as corticosteroids, may decrease the inflammation that accompanies certain kidney disorders, such as minimal change disease.

These medications can control your symptoms temporarily not radically. If you want to treat Nephrotic Syndrome radically, you need to take Chinese medicine treatments such as Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy, Medicated Bath, Mai Kang Mixture, Medicinal Soup and Moxibustion Therapy, etc to repair injured glomeruli and improve renal function. Only in this way can Nephrotic Syndrome be treated from the root.

What is the diet for Nephrotic Syndrome?

Changes to your diet may help you cope with nephrotic syndrome. The diet includes:

Choose lean sources of protein

Reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in your diet to help control your blood cholesterol levels

Eat a low-salt diet to help control the swelling or edema.

What Is The Prognosis of Nephrotic Syndrome?

The prognosis for nephrotic syndrome under treatment is generally good although this depends on the underlying cause, the age of the patient and their response to treatment. It is usually good in children, because minimal change disease responds very well to steroids and does not cause chronic renal failure. Any relapses that occur become less frequent over time; the opposite occurs with mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis, in which the kidney fails within three years of the disease developing, making dialysis necessary and subsequent kidney transplant. In addition children under the age of 5 generally have a poorer prognosis than prepubescents, as do adults older than 30 years of age as they have a greater risk of kidney failure.

Other causes such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis frequently lead to end stage renal disease. Factors with a poorer prognosis in these cases include level of proteinuria, blood pressure control and kidney function (GFR).

Without treatment, nephrotic syndrome has a very bad prognosis especially rapidly progressing glomerulonephritis, which leads to acute kidney failure after a few months.

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