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.

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.

Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
August 09, 2017