Symptoms Of Nephrotic Syndrome: Risk Factors And Treatment

Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder of the kidneys which causes the body to eliminate large amounts of protein in the urine.

The condition develops as a consequence to damage and impairment to the small blood vessels in the kidneys which sieve waste and surplus water from the blood. Nephrotic syndrome manifests as swelling in your feet and ankles, and raises your risk of other health conditions.

Treatment includes managing the underlying condition which is the cause; your health care provider will advise medicines and dietary modifications to ward off complications associated with nephrotic syndrome.

Signs and symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are:

  • Severe swelling around the eyes and in the feet and ankles.
  • Frothy urine, due to large amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Weight gain because of fluid retention.

Risk Factors Of Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome develops when the small blood vessels (glomeruli) in the kidneys get damaged. The glomeruli filter the blood, eliminating the wastes. Healthy glomeruli make sure that the blood protein – which is very necessary to maintain the right quantity of fluid in your body, does not seep into your urine.

When the glomeruli get impaired, they allow large amounts of blood protein to leave the body, thus, causing nephrotic syndrome.

Factors which raise the risk of nephrotic syndrome are:

  • Diseases which impair the kidneys: Certain disease conditions raise your risk of developing nephrotic syndrome – lupus, diabetes mellitus, amyloidosis, and minimal change disease.
  • Certain medicines: Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some antibiotics.
  • Certain infections: Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV and malaria.

Treatment Guidelines For Nephrotic Syndrome

Preventing nephritic syndrome is not quite possible; however, you can manage the symptoms of the case well and prevent complications from setting in.

Treatment comprises of treating the underlying disease condition which is the cause of the nephrotic syndrome. Medications include:

  • Blood pressure medications: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) decrease your blood pressure and lower the amount of protein which is released in the urine. Another group of medicines – known as the angiotensin II receptor blockers have also proved to be useful.
  • Statins: Are cholesterol-decreasing drugs. They help diminish cholesterol levels and prevent complications such as – heart attacks and the risk of early death.
  • Diuretics: Control the edema by increasing the kidneys’ fluid output.
  • Anti-coagulants: Are drugs which reduce the blood’s ability to clot and thus decrease your risk of developing blood clots; they are blood thinners. Anticoagulants prescribed are -heparin or warfarin.
  • Immune system-suppressing drugs: Certain medicines which suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids, help diminish the inflammation which is linked to certain kidney disorders; thus your doctor may prescribe immune-suppressing drugs for a while.

Also, modifications in the diet can help you deal with nephrotic syndrome better. Confer with your health care provider and nutritionist to manage the symptoms well and prevent the complications of nephrotic syndrome from setting in.

A nutritionist will advise you to:

  • Opt for lean sources of protein.
  • Decrease the quantity of fat and cholesterol in the diet to control your blood cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.
  • Salt restriction is also very essential; it helps control the swelling in the face and legs.