Nephrotic syndrome is not a specific kidney disease but a group of clinical symptoms including proteinuria (bubbles in urine), swelling, hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia.
Nephrotic syndrome patients do have the possibility to lead to renal failure, but not every patient will definitely develop renal failure. The prognosis of each case should depend on the patient’s specific illness and physical conditions and many factors need to be taken into account such as the underlying cause of nephrotic syndrome, age, gender, level of proteinuria, blood pressure, response to the therapy.
Many disease and illness conditions can cause nephrotic syndrome. Nephrotic syndrome is usually classified into 4 types according to different pathogenic lesions. They are minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranous nephropathy, mesangial proliferative glomerular nephritis.
Minimal change disease is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in children and it usually does not lead to chronic renal failure because children patients often have good response to steroids.
However other diseases such as FSGS will often progress into renal failure and loss of kidney functions because of its poor response to hormone therapy and high recurrent rate.
Besides, there are many causes of nephrotic syndrome. They are infections, diabetic kidney disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, amyloidosis, renal vein thrombosis, heart failure, etc.
The first step to prevent renal failure is to bring the underlying cause well under control so as to avoid further renal damages. Then effective treatments should be received to alleviate symptoms and complications such as high blood pressure and proteinuria which will in turn worsen renal damages if not treated properly or timely. Well control of blood pressure and reducing protein in urine can greatly slow its progression into renal failure.
Also there are some risk factors that can speed up the illness progression of nephrotic syndrome, therefore it is very important to learn them and have early prevention. They include certain medicines such as anti-inflammatory and anti-infection drugs; certain infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, malaria; certain illness conditions such as diabetes, lupus, amyloidosis, etc.
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