Understanding Nephrotic Syndrome Symptoms & Treatment


Nephrotic Syndrome is a condition where your kidneys release a higher amount of protein in your urine. The nephron is the filtering unit in the kidney where the urine is made and passed on to the bladder. It is not a disease but a collective of symptoms that entails there is something wrong with your kidney. 

When you excrete more than 3 grams of protein every day, then your blood indicates low levels of albumin. The main cause of this syndrome is diabetes, auto-immune disease, and FSGS. The symptoms can be life-threatening if not looked after. Let us understand the symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome in detail and how to overcome these symptoms.

Symptoms Of Nephrotic Syndrome

The symptoms of nephrotic syndrome involve:

🔹 Edema

It is the swelling of the abdomen, legs, and ankles to the point where the fluid accumulates in one place and creates a blockage for blood and other fluids to pass on. This can also lead to severe blood clots starting from the legs to the heart. You may also experience redness or pain in the targeted area. With swollen ankles and legs, it might also be difficult for you to walk properly.

🔹 Proteinuria

This is a condition when your kidneys are not working well and there is a leakage of protein when transmitted to the bladder. This indicates the underlying problems related to the kidney and requires a urine test to be diagnosed. The main causes of these symptoms are hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, or genetics.

🔹 Hypoalbuminemia

As indicated, the loss of higher amounts of protein (Albumin) in the urine and stool causes low levels of protein in the blood. When your blood lacks this protein, there is a reduced transmission of vitamins, enzymes, and hormones in your body. This can result in weakness, fatigue, kidney failure, and loss of appetite.

🔹 Excessive Weight Gain

Often there are instances, where you gain weight rapidly and uncontrollably. The reason might be because of fluid retention and swelling of your abdomen. Common symptoms of this are excessive puffiness in the eyes, ankles, and feet. This is also found in children where excessive salt and fluid retention can lead to obesity. 

🔹 Hyperlipidemia

This is the condition where your flood contains excessive fats such as triglycerides and cholesterol. These are the bad fats in your body and can cause blockages in arteries if not treated on time. There should be a balance between HDL and LDL to avoid the risk of heart attack or stroke. 

🔹 Foamy Urine

Often you may experience frothy or foamy urine for longer periods because of the high protein in the urine. This is similar to detergents when dissolved in water. The main cause lies in kidney disorders or coming in contact with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or drugs used to fight infections. 

🔹 Decreased Immunity

With decreased levels of protein, your immune system tends to deteriorate. You are more vulnerable to infections and prone to suffer from auto-immune diseases. 

Treatment Of Nephrotic Syndrome

Treatment Of Nephrotic Syndrome

After proper diagnosis and doctor consultation, you can start treatment for nephrotic syndrome. This treatment will include medications to control your high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It will help you not only to combat these syndromes but also prevent them from recurring in your body.

Angiotensin-converting enzymes or ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs are prescribed medications to slow down kidney disease. Diuretics, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers also help you to overcome swelling and high blood pressure.

Along with these medications, you are also required to change your dietary habits. Reduce the amount of sodium intake and incorporate more fluids to get better results. Make sure to rest well and exercise daily to stay fit and healthy.

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Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent an issue from escalating is to address the cause of it. So the early signs of these symptoms should not be disregarded. Children with nephrotic syndrome symptoms can get rid of this by the age of 20. However, if a senior adult after the age of 70 has these symptoms then it can be life-threatening. So consult a health professional when you suspect these signs, and they can help you with the proper diagnosis and treatment that you need. 

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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