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). 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. Your doctor should perform individual treatments.
Nephrotic Syndrome Symptoms
The first sign of nephrotic syndrome in children is swelling of the face. In adults, it can be dependent edema. The signs and symptoms of nephrotic syndrome may include the following:
Nephrotic Syndrome Causes
In general, any problem, drug, disease, or genetics that cause or allow damage to the glomeruli of the kidney can cause nephrotic syndrome. Primary causes include kidney diseases like membranous nephropathy and focal glomerulosclerosis. Secondary causes include diabetes, lupus, amyloidosis, and heroin use. Mutations of genes that code for several proteins (for example, congenital and hereditary focal glomerulosclerosis) in kidney cells may also cause the disease. Nephrotic syndrome can be of several types: acute (kidney injury), chronic (genetic cause), idiopathic (unknown cause), steroid sensitive or resistant, and types that frequently relapse.
Your kidneys have to work hard to process all that extra sugar in your blood. When they can't keep up, your body gets rid of it, along with water that your body needs.
Kidney Disease : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood.See Answer
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.