Nephrotic syndrome


A kidney condition known as nephrotic syndrome makes your body excrete excessive amounts of protein in urine.

Nephrotic syndrome, a condition that damages the clusters of tiny blood capillaries in the kidneys known as glomeruli, can have various consequences.

The glomeruli in your kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted as urine. They effectively remove various waste products, including nitrogen waste (urea), muscle waste (creatinine), and acids.

In a healthy state, the glomeruli efficiently filter out these waste products while ensuring that essential components like cells and proteins necessary for normal bodily functions are retained in the bloodstream.

However, when the glomeruli are damaged, they can no longer effectively perform their filtration function. This can result in blood proteins leaking into the urine, which is not typical in a healthy kidney.

It often leads to swelling, particularly in the ankles and feet increases the risk of developing additional health problems. Nephrotic syndrome is a life threatening condition. Without treatment, its complications may shorten your life expectancy.

It is not common to have nephrotic syndrome. Every year, roughly 1 in 50,000 kids develop nephrotic syndrome. Nephrotic syndrome is commonly diagnosed in children within the age range of 2 to 5 years old. In comparison to girls, boys are nearly twice as likely to have nephrotic syndrome. Every year, 3 out of every 100,000 adults experience it.

Treating the underlying condition causing nephrotic syndrome is essential, and it often involves medication. Having nephrotic syndrome increases the risk of infections and blood clots. To prevent these complications, your doctor may recommend a combination of medications and dietary modifications.


Nephrotic syndrome symptoms and signs include:

  • Severe edema, especially in the ankles and feet and around the eyes
  • Foamy pee, which is a symptom of too much protein in your urine
  • Increased weight from fluid retention
  • Blood fat and cholesterol levels that are increased
  • Abdominal pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any symptoms or signs that raise concerns, it is important to schedule a consultation with your doctor. Promptly seeking medical attention is crucial when experiencing any worrisome symptoms related to nephrotic syndrome or any other health condition. By scheduling a consultation, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor and receive appropriate evaluation and guidance.


Damage to your kidneys’ glomeruli, which are collections of tiny blood vessels, is typically what causes nephrotic syndrome.

As your blood flows through your kidneys, the glomeruli filter it, separating the substances your body needs from those it doesn’t. Blood protein, primarily albumin, which is necessary to maintain the proper level of fluid in your body, is prevented from leaking into your urine by healthy glomeruli. Nephrotic syndrome occurs when the glomeruli are damaged, causing an excessive loss of blood proteins from the body.

Possible causes of nephrotic syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome can be brought on by a number of diseases and conditions, such as:

  • Diabetic kidney disease. Diabetes can cause diabetic nephropathy, which affects the glomeruli and damages the kidneys.
  • Minimal change disease. In children, this is the most typical cause of nephrotic syndrome. Minimal change disease causes aberrant kidney function. The cause of the abnormal function is often difficult to determine. However, when the kidney tissue is viewed under a microscope, it seems normal or nearly normal.
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. This condition, which is characterized by scarring of portions of the glomeruli, can be brought on by another illness, a genetic abnormality, specific drugs, or it can develop for unknown reasons.
  • Membranous nephropathy. Thickened membranes within the glomeruli are the cause of this kidney condition. The thickening is a result of deposits made by the immune system. It can happen for no apparent cause or it can be linked to other illnesses such cancer, hepatitis B, malaria, and lupus.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus. This autoimmune disease can cause inflammation throughout your body. It also has the potential to seriously damage the kidneys.
  • Amyloidosis. Amyloid protein buildup in your organs causes this illness. An accumulation of amyloid frequently harms the kidneys’ filtration abilities.

Risk factors

Nephrotic syndrome risk factors include the following:

  • Medical conditions that can damage your kidneys. Nephrotic syndrome is more likely to occur in people who have certain illnesses and conditions, such as diabetes, lupus, amyloidosis, reflux nephropathy, and other renal diseases.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and medications used to treat infections are among the substances that could lead to nephrotic syndrome.
  • Infections. HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and malaria are among the infections that raise the chance of developing nephrotic syndrome.