What is Nephropathy?

The common term for Nephropathyis kidney disease and if this condition is not treated it will lead to failure of the kidneys. The function of the kidneys is an important one, as they eliminate waste and excess liquid from the blood, and this process produces urine.

Nephropathy often occurs in people who have diabetes because high blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disease that is caused by the immunoglobulin A antibody in the kidneys. This antibody causes inflammation of the kidneys and, ultimately, damages these organs.

What are the Symptoms of Nephropathy?

When the kidneys fail to work properly, individuals will have various symptoms to alert them to this condition. Fluid will build up and cause the feet, legs and ankles to become swollen. High blood pressure is also a frequent sign of kidney damage. The urine may appear foamy or have a brownish tinge to the color. Some individuals with kidney disease feel nauseated and lose their appetite. Sleeplessness and feeling weak are additional signs of this condition.

Nephropathy Causes

Nephropathy can be caused by a number of things. It is most often associated with infectious diseases such as flesh eating bacteria, but it may be the result of genetics as well. Some people are born with kidneys that simply can’t filter out poisons well enough to keep them from succumbing to kidney disease. Often, alcohol and drugs are major factors in the development of nephropathy. These substances force the body to strain itself and eventually lose its ability to cleanse the blood. When this happens, the kidneys essentially shut down. A major factor in the development of nephropathy is lack of vitamin D. People who have abnormally low levels of vitamin D acquire kidney disease at rates far higher than the general public. This has led many researchers to believe that nephropathy may have something to do with the absorption of calcium or the immune system.

How is Nephropathy Treated?

Treatment for nephropathy will often depend on the cause of the condition. Those who have kidney disease due to diabetes will need medications that can lower their levels of blood glucose in their system. Individuals who have an escalated blood pressure will be prescribed blood pressure medications.

Immunosuppressants are frequently prescribed to individuals who have IgA nephropathy to improve the function of the kidneys. Medications that lower cholesterol and fish oil supplements can also help prevent additional damage to these vital organs. If the disease progresses and the kidneys continue to fail, individuals will need dialysis. For this procedure, tubes are placed into a¬† person’s vein in their arm and the tubes connect to a machine that filters the blood before returning it back to the body.

Nephropathy Prevention

As one of the most widely studied diseases out there, the prevention of nephropathy is well understood. One of the best ways to prevent this disease is to simply drink enough water and consume enough leafy vegetables. Another important step to take in order to prevent nephropathy is to avoid sugar, acidic foods, and heavy protein intake. All of these stress the kidneys and force them to do things they are not intended to do. The less stress you put on the kidneys, the less likely you are to have kidney damage. Drug use is also a major factor in the development of nephropathy. Persons who wish to avoid the disease should do their best to abstain from alcohol and recreation drug abuse. This will greatly increase the odds of acquiring some level of nephropathy. Nephropathy can have a genetic component, but it is rarely the main cause of kidney disease.