Diseases And Treatments

The 8 Major Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome


The Major Causes of Nephrotic Syndromewhich we should not ignore. In additionNephrotic syndromeis a kidney disease that causes your body to excrete too much protein in your urine. THENephrotic syndromeit is usually caused by damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in your kidneys that filter waste and excess water from your blood. THENephrotic syndromecauses swelling (edema), particularly in your feet and ankles, and increases the risk of other health problems. Treatment forNephrotic syndromeincludes the treatment of the underlying condition that is causing and taking medications. THENephrotic syndromemay increase the risk of infections and blood clots. Your doctor may recommend medications and changes in your diet to prevent these and otherNephrotic syndrome.

Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome:THENephrotic syndromeis usually caused by damage to the clusters of small blood vessels (glomeruli) in your kidneys. The glomeruli filter your blood as it passes through your kidneys, separating things your body needs from those it does not. Healthy glomeruli keep blood protein (especially albumin) - which is needed to keep the right amount of fluid in your body - from seeping into your urine.

When damaged, the glomeruli allow many blood proteins to leave your body, leading toNephrotic syndrome. Many diseases and conditions can cause glomerular damage and lead toNephrotic syndrome, including:



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  • Minimal change disease.The most common cause ofNephrotic syndromein children, this disorder results in abnormal renal function, but when the renal tissue is examined under a microscope, it appears normal or almost normal. The cause of abnormal function typically can not be determined.
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.Characterized by scattered scars from some of the glomeruli, this condition may result from another disease or genetic defect or occur for no known reason.
  • Membranous Nephropathy.This kidney disease is the result of thickening membranes within the glomeruli. The exact cause of thickening is not known, but is sometimes associated with other medical conditions such as hepatitis B, malaria, lupus and cancer.
  • Diabetic kidney disease.Diabetes can lead to kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) that affects the glomeruli.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus.This chronic inflammatory disease can lead to serious damage to the kidneys.
  • Amyloidosis.This disorder occurs when substances called amyloid proteins accumulate in your organs. The accumulation of amyloid usually affects the kidneys, damaging their filtration system.
  • Blood clot in a renal vein.Renal vein thrombosis, which occurs when a blood clot blocks a vein attached to the kidney, can causeNephrotic syndrome.
  • Cardiac insufficiency.Some forms of heart failure, such as constrictive pericarditis and severe right heart failure, can causeNephrotic syndrome.

Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome:The signs and symptoms ofNephrotic syndromeinclude:

  • Severe swelling (edema), particularly around your eyes and on your ankles and feet
  • Foamy urine, which can be caused by too much protein in the urine
  • Weight gain due to excess fluid retention

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of concern.


Risk Factors of Nephrotic Syndrome:Factors that may increase your risk ofNephrotic syndromeinclude:

  • Medical conditions that can harm your kidneys.Certain diseases and conditions increase the risk of developingNephrotic syndrome, such as diabetes, lupus, amyloidosis, minimal change disease and other kidney diseases.
  • Certain medications.Examples of drugs that may causeNephrotic syndromeinclude non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs used to fight infections.
  • Certain infections.Examples of infections that increase the risk ofNephrotic syndromeinclude HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and malaria.

Complications of Nephrotic Syndrome:Possible complications ofNephrotic syndromeinclude:

  • Blood clots.The inability of the glomeruli to properly filter blood can lead to loss of blood proteins that help prevent clotting. This increases the risk of developing a blood clot (thrombus) in the veins.
  • High blood cholesterol and high blood triglycerides.When the level of protein albumin in the blood drops, the liver makes more albumin. At the same time, your liver releases more cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Poor nutrition.Loss of too much protein from the blood can result in malnutrition. This can lead to weight loss but can be masked by bloating. You may also have very few red blood cells (anemia) and low levels of vitamin D and calcium.
  • High pressure.Damage to your glomeruli and accumulation of waste in your bloodstream (uremia) can raise blood pressure.
  • Acute renal failure.If your kidneys lose the ability to filter the blood due to damage to the glomeruli, the waste can quickly build up in your blood. If this happens, you may need emergency dialysis - an artificial means of removing extra fluids and waste from your blood - typically with an artificial kidney machine (dialyzer).
  • Chronic kidney disease.THENephrotic syndromecan cause your kidneys to gradually lose their function over time. If kidney function falls low enough, you may require dialysis or kidney transplantation.
  • Infections.People withNephrotic syndromeare at increased risk of infection.

Tests and Diagnosis of Nephrotic Syndrome:Tests and procedures used to diagnoseNephrotic syndromeinclude:

  • Urine tests.A urine test may reveal abnormalities in your urine, such as large amounts of protein, if you haveNephrotic syndrome. You may be asked to collect urine samples over the course of 24 hours for an accurate measurement of the protein in your urine.
  • Bloodtests.If you haveNephrotic syndrome, a blood test may show low levels of protein albumin (hypoalbuminemia) specifically and often decreased blood protein levels in general. Loss of albumin is often associated with an increase in blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Serum creatinine and blood urea can also be measured to assess overall renal function.
  • Removing a sample of kidney tissue for testing.Your doctor may recommend a procedure called a kidney biopsy to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for testing. During a kidney biopsy, a special needle is inserted through your skin and into your kidney. The renal tissue is collected and sent to a laboratory for testing.

Nephrotic Syndrome Treatments:The treatment forNephrotic syndromeinvolves the treatment of any underlying medical condition that may be causing your condition toNephrotic syndrome. Your doctor may also recommend medications that may help control your signs and symptoms or treatNephrotic syndrome. Medications may include:

  • Medications for blood pressure.Medications called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors lower blood pressure and also reduce the amount of protein released into the urine. Drugs in this category include benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten) and enalapril (Vasotec). Another group of drugs that works in a similar way is called angiotensin II receptor blockers and includes losartan (Cozaar) and valsartan (Diovan).
  • Water pills.Water pills (diuretics) help control swelling by increasing the production of fluid from the kidneys. Diuretic medications include furosemide (Lasix) and spironolactone (Aldactone).
  • Drugs that lower cholesterol.Medications called statins can help lower cholesterol levels. However, it is currently unclear whether cholesterol-lowering medications can specifically improve outcomes for people withNephrotic syndrome, how to prevent heart attacks, or decrease the risk of early death. Statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor).
  • Blood thinners.Medications called anticoagulants help decrease your blood's ability to clot and reduce the risk of developing blood clots. Anticoagulants include heparin or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Suppressing the immune system.Medications to control the immune system, such as corticosteroids, may decrease inflammation that accompanies certain kidney disorders, such as minimal change disease.


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Prevention of Nephrotic Syndrome:Changes in your diet can help you cope with theNephrotic syndrome. Your doctor can refer you to a nutritionist to discuss how what you eat can help you deal with the complications ofNephrotic syndrome. A nutritionist may recommend that you:

  • 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 (edema) you experience