Doctor's Notes on Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder that results in protein lost in the urine (proteinuria) due to leaks in the filtering system of the kidney. Symptoms and signs of nephrotic syndrome may include
- loss of appetite,
- fluid in the abdomen (ascites),
- swelling in extremities,
- foamy urine,
- generalized body swelling,
- puffy eyes (facial swelling),
- weight gain,
- high blood pressure,
- blood clots (hypercoagulability), and
- pleural effusions (fluid in the lungs).
The causes of nephrotic syndrome are numerous and variable. Almost any problem (such as trauma to the kidneys, certain drugs, diseases, or genetic makeup) that causes or allows damage to the glomeruli of the kidney can cause nephrotic syndrome. Primary causes (kidney diseases like focal glomerulosclerosis) and secondary causes are underlying problems. Examples include diabetes, lupus, heroin use, and genetic mutations (for example, congenital focal glomerulosclerosis).
What Are the Treatments for Nephrotic Syndrome?
Treatments vary. Treating the underlying cause is the usual approach, like the use of immune-suppressing drugs for autoimmune diseases, but symptom reduction treatments may also be done such as swelling reduction by using diuretics. Each person is different. Some medications used may include the following:
- Blood pressure medications like lisinopril, captopril, losartan
- Diuretics like furosemide, spironolactone
- Statins like atorvastatin, lovastatin
- Blood thinners like warfarin, rivaroxaban
- Immune system suppressors like rituximab, cyclosporine
Your doctor should perform individual treatments based on the underlying cause of the nephrotic syndrome.
Kidney Disease : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood.See Answer
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.