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Nephrotic syndrome is a condition in which the patient has protein in the urine, low blood protein levels, high cholesterol levels, and triglycerides, as well as a risk for developing blood clots and oedema. Proteins are very important for building bones, muscles, and other infection fighting tissues. When the kidneys do not function as they should, they leak albumin, a type of protein, into the urine. If a person doesn’t have enough albumin in their blood stream, fluid accumulates in the body and causes swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles.
Syndrome prognosis varies from patient to patient. Some people completely recover, while others have kidney disease for a long time, and may even need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Oedema is the most common symptom and it normally appears in:
Other symptoms may include:
The specialist will first carry out a physical examination and lab tests to check kidney function. These may include:
Fat may appear in the urine and cholesterol and triglyceride levels may increase. A kidney biopsy may be needed to find the cause. The following tests can rule out other causes:
Having the syndrome could affect the following tests:
Nephrotic syndrome is caused by different disorders that can damage the kidneys. This disease causes protein loss in urine. The most common cause in children is minimal change disease (MCD). In adults, the leading cause is membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN). In both diseases, the glomeruli of the kidneys are damaged. Glomeruli are the structures that filter waste and liquids.
Other causes might be:
Other kidney conditions may appear, such as:
This syndrome can affect all ages. It tends to affect children aged between 2 and 6 years old. Women are more likely to develop this syndrome.
There are certain conditions that can lead to nephrotic syndrome, so treating these is important to prevent it from developing.
Treatment aims to lessen symptoms, prevent complications, and slow down kidney damage. To completely control nephrotic syndrome, the cause for it must be discovered. In some cases, the treatment will be life-long.