Nephrotic Syndrome is a disorder caused by damage to the small blood vessels in the kidneys that filter waste and excess water from the blood. When healthy, these small blood vessels keep blood protein from seeping into the urine and out of the body. When damaged, they donâ€™t perform this function effectively, and protein can leak out of the blood and lead to swelling (edema). Signs and symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are as follows:
- Weight gain due to excess fluid retention
- Swelling on face more around the eyes and in ankles and feet
- Foam in the toilet water, which may be caused by excess protein in the urine
- Loss of appetite
Nephrotic syndrome is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) of the kidneys. Kidneys are two bean-shaped, fist-sized organs situated at the small of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Blood enters in the kidneys through arteries from the aorta, which is a large artery that carries blood from heart to other parts of body. Each kidney contains approximately 1 million glomeruli, each of which is attached to the opening of a small fluid-collecting tube (tubule). Each glomerulus (singular of glomeruli) and its tubule form a nephron, which is a functional unit of the kidneys. The glomeruli filters blood as it passes through kidneys. After being filtered by the glomeruli, blood travels through veins in the kidneys back to main bloodstream of the body which is directed towards heart. The filtered substances, after being modified by the tubules, and go through a tube from each kidney (ureter) to bladder ( a urine collection bag in the lower portion of abdomen) and pass out of the body by the process of urination. Every day about 2 liters of water, along with waste products and electrolytes, leave the body as urine. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of fluid and waste accumulate in your body, a condition known as kidney failure. Healthy glomeruli prevent protein of the body from leaking through the glomeruli. Protein plays and important role in maintaining fluid levels in the body. Protein also monitors the amount of water that is thrown out of the body through urine. When the glomeruli are damaged, it often loses this ability. Thus the result is loss of blood protein in urine leading to nephrotic syndrome. The nephrotic syndrome is characterized by:
- High levels of protein in your urine (Proteinurea)
- Low levels of the blood protein albumin (Hypoalbuminemia)
- Elevated blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (Hyperlipidimea)
- Swelling (edema)
The following medical conditions account for most cases of nephrotic syndrome:
- Minimal change disease
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
- Membranous nephropathy
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Factors that may increase your risk of nephrotic syndrome include:
- Other medical conditions like Diabetes, Lupus, Amyloidosis, Minimal Change Disease and Other Kidney Disease.
Possible complications of nephrotic syndrome include:
- Blood clots in veins
- High blood cholesterol and elevated blood triglycerides.
- Poor nutrition.
- High blood pressure.
- Acute kidney failure.
- Chronic kidney failure.
Prompt treatment of medical conditions that can lead to nephrotic syndrome, such as diabetes, lupus, kidney disease and amyloidosis, may prevent some cases of nephrotic syndrome. Changes in diet are necessary. A dietitian may be of good help in planning a proper diet. In general one may have to limit salt intake to help reduce fluid retention, swelling and blood pressure. The diet should be modified to decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels from the blood. A supplement of vitamin D is advised. Living with nephrotic syndrome can be a difficult task all together for the patient as well as the family. One should make a team effort for the management of nephrotic syndrome. A team of specialist consultants in kidney diseases, dietitian may be of a good help. One may also benefit from joining a support group. Such a group can provide emotional support as well as latest developments in the treatment of nephrotic syndrome may be available if such groups are updated with latest information.
Role of Homeopathy in Nephrotic Syndrome:
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is capable of acting on immune system and genetic system of our body by the virtue of its dynamic energy acting on dynamic life giving and life maintaining energy of our body. In homeopathy this energy is know as vital force. But it is a universal truth that our body is a cellular mass which is designed to deliver precise function. But the main power which turns it on is a cosmic energy of which our bodyâ€™s dynamic power is a part. Without this life energy no living thing can exist. It immediately meets death the moment this cosmic energy leaves our body. Homeopathic medicines act on this energy and bring about improvement in disease conditions. In the treatment of Nephrotic syndrome homeopathy can help in correcting basic problem of loosing proteins from the kidney. This helps in maintaining protein levels in the body. Homeopathic medicines also improves immune system which strengthens the person in becoming less vulnerable to opportunistic infections, which is usually very common for patients suffering from nephrotic syndrome. The control over protein loss can be demonstrated in blood and urine samples. The improvement is evident by reduction in edema, control in hypertension and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood. As the condition is chronic the amount of permanent damage to the kidney ultimately decides the out come of the treatment. Early the treatment is started better the results with homeopathic medicines. Apart from the damage to the kidney other factors also determine the out come of treatment. These factors are genetic load of any other serious illness in parents and siblings. Other associated illness like diabetes, severe hypertension, tuberculosis, HIV. Other than associated illnesses patientâ€™s life style habits also play a major role. Use of corticosteroids by the patient of Nephrotic Syndrome.