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How to Treat Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is a type of kidney disease that can be experienced by both children and adults. Nephrotic syndrome is damage to the kidneys that can cause high levels of protein in the urine. Then how to treat nephrotic syndrome? Check out the following explanation.

How to Treat Nephrotic Syndrome

High levels of this protein can be caused by a leak in the part of the kidney that functions to filter blood (glomerulus). This condition that attacks the urinary system can be treated by taking medicines given by a doctor. If the occurrence of nephrotic syndrome is caused by another disease, such as lupus or diabetes, the doctor will also treat the condition that is causing the nephrotic syndrome.

Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome can occur because the glomerulus is damaged. Glomerulus is the part of the kidney that functions to filter blood and form urine. Due to damage to the glomerulus, proteins that should remain in the blood leak into the urine. Under normal conditions, urine should not contain protein.

The occurrence of damage to the glomerulus is caused by thickening of kidney cells or forming scar tissue. Until now, the cause of glomerular thickening is still unknown. Nephrotic syndrome caused by thickening of the glomerulus is referred to as primary nephrotic syndrome.

In addition, nephrotic syndrome can also be caused by other diseases that cause damage to the kidneys. This condition is known as secondary nephrotic syndrome. There are several diseases that can cause secondary nephrotic syndrome, namely:

  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious diseases, such as syphilis, leprosy, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and malaria
  • Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma
  • Amyloidosis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Sjogren's syndrome

Besides being caused by some of these diseases, taking medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or interferon alfa, can also affect the work of the kidneys, increasing the risk of developing nephrotic syndrome.

Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome

The main symptom of nephrotic syndrome is a buildup of fluid in the body or edema. The occurrence of edema is due to low protein in the blood, causing fluid from the blood vessels to leak out and accumulate in body tissues.

Edema caused by nephrotic syndrome in children can be observed from swelling of the face. Meanwhile, edema in adults can be observed from swelling in the heel, followed by swelling in the thigh and calf.

Other symptoms of nephrotic syndrome that can appear are as follows:

  • Foamy urine due to the presence of protein in the urine
  • Lethargy, fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Nauseous
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain due to accumulation of body fluids

Some of these symptoms will also be experienced by patients with nephrotic syndrome caused by other diseases. For example, nephrotic syndrome caused by rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint pain symptoms that make the sufferer feel fatigue and lethargic.

How to Cure Nephrotic Syndrome

If symptoms of nephrotic syndrome appear, such as edema followed by foamy urine, consult a doctor immediately to get help. This needs to be done because nephrotic syndrome that is not treated immediately can lead to permanent chronic kidney failure.

At the beginning of the examination, the doctor will ask about the symptoms felt and perform a physical condition examination. In addition, the doctor will also ask about medical history, especially diseases that have previously been suffered.

If the patient with nephrotic syndrome is a child, the doctor will also ask his family whether any family members have had the disease.

If the doctor suspects that a person suffers from nephrotic syndrome, the doctor will carry out further examinations including:

1. Blood test

This blood test is done to see the content of residual substances in the blood, for example checking protein levels in the blood so that doctors can assess kidney function. In addition, through this blood test, doctors can check the cause of nephrotic syndrome, such as checking blood sugar levels for diabetics. That way the cause of nephrotic syndrome can also be treated.

2. Urine test

A urine test is done to measure the ability of the kidneys to filter waste substances. Through this examination the doctor can see whether or not the protein is leaking. The doctor will ask the patient to take a urine sample for a full 24 hours.

3. Kidney biopsy

This procedure is done by a doctor by taking a sample of kidney tissue, then examining it using a microscope. The purpose of this procedure is to see if there is damage to kidney tissue and determine the cause.

Kidney doctors in treating nephrotic syndrome are different for each patient, depending on what the cause is. There are several medicines that can be given by doctors to patients with nephrotic syndrome, including:

1. Corticosteroid medicines

Corticosteroid medicines work to treat inflammation of the kidneys or treat inflammatory diseases that cause nephrotic syndrome, such as amyloidosis or lupus. An example of a corticosteroid is the medicines methylprednisolone.

2. Antihypertensive medicines

Antihypertensive medicines are medicines used to lower high blood pressure, which can increase when kidney damage occurs. In addition, high blood pressure medicines can also reduce the amount of protein that is wasted with urine. An example of this high blood pressure medicine is an ACE inhibitor medicine, such as catropril or enalapril.

3. Blood thinners

Blood thinning medicines work to reduce the risk of blood clots which are a complication of nephrotic syndrome. An example of a blood thinning medicine is heparin.

4. Diuretic medicines

Diuretic medicines are medicines that are efficacious to remove excess fluid from the body, so that it can relieve symptoms of edema. An example of a diuretic medicine is furosemide.

5. Penicillin medicine

Penicillin is an antibiotic drug used to prevent infections that are a complication of nephrotic syndrome.

If the protein in the blood is too low, the doctor can give albumin through an IV. In addition, doctors can also advise patients for dialysis or kidney transplants if they are already experiencing chronic kidney failure.

In addition to taking medicines, patients with nephrotic syndrome also need to adjust their diet. Patients should eat protein with enough, not too much and not less. In addition, patients with nephrotic syndrome should also be able to reduce their consumption of salt, fat, and cholesterol to reduce edema and prevent complications. The recovery rate for people with nephrotic syndrome depends on the cause, severity, and the body's response to treatment.

How to Prevent Nephrotic Syndrome

To prevent nephrotic syndrome of unknown cause (primary nephrotic syndrome) is very difficult. However, to prevent nephrotic syndrome caused by other diseases, the way to prevent it is to undergo treatment for the disease. For example, diabetics need to take blood sugar control medication from a doctor and live a healthy lifestyle as recommended by a doctor.

The next preventive step is to prevent complications of nephrotic syndrome, one of which is kidney failure due to permanent kidney damage. This can be done by undergoing treatment in accordance with the advice of a kidney doctor, and being disciplined in implementing a diet as recommended by a nutritionist.

Nephrotic Syndrome Complications

If nephrotic syndrome is not treated promptly, it can lead to various complications, namely:

  • Hypertension due to kidney disorders
  • There is an increase in cholesterol levels in the blood
  • Hypoalbuminemia is low albumin levels due to too much albumin protein in the blood that is wasted with urine
  • Vulnerable to infection due to antibodies in the blood are also wasted with urine
  • The formation of blood clots due to natural blood-thinning proteins are also wasted along with the urine
  • Acute kidney failure or chronic kidney failure due to the kidneys not being able to filter blood optimally.

That's an article about how to treat nephrotic syndrome, hopefully it can be useful.

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