|Search treatments and conditions|
Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a condition that is often caused by any of a group of diseases that damage the kidneys’ filtering system, the glomeruli. The structure of the glomeruli prevents most protein from getting filtered through into the urine. Normally, a person loses less than 150mg of protein in the urine in a 24-hour period. Proteinuria is the primary indicator of NS.
There are a number of different disorders that can cause NS. Diabetes and, to a lesser extent, hypertension can cause diffuse damage to the glomeruli and can ultimately lead to NS. The following diseases can cause specific damage to the glomeruli and often result in the development of heavy proteinuria and in many instances NS:
The outcome of NS varies and is largely dependent on the underlying cause. Some patients may have a spontaneous recovery not requiring any specific therapy, while others worsen despite aggressive, specific therapy.
|Weak or unproven link|
|Strong or generally accepted link|
|Likely to help|
Acute: An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.
Atherosclerosis: Common form of arteriosclerosis associated with the formation of atheromas which are deposits of yellow plaques containing cholesterol, lipids, and lipophages within the intima and inner media of arteries. This results in a narrowing of the arteries, which reduces the blood and oxygen flow to the heart and brain as well as to other parts of the body and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or loss of function or gangrene of other tissues.
Biopsy: Excision of tissue from a living being for diagnosis.
Cholesterol: A waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues, it facilitates the transport and absorption of fatty acids. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
Diabetes Mellitus: A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.
Edema: Abnormal accumulation of fluids within tissues resulting in swelling.
Glomerulonephritis: Inflammation of glomerulus. The glomerulus is part of a nephron, which in turn is the basic functional (working) unit of a kidney. Millions of nephrons acting together filter the blood to produce urine.
Hypertension: High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.
IgA: Immunoglobulin A. Supports mucosal immunity.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Scar Tissue: Fibrous tissue replacing normal tissues destroyed by injury or disease.
Steroid: Any of a large number of hormonal substances with a similar basic chemical structure containing a 17-carbon 14-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides.