Overview of Nephrosis / Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by kidney disorder that lead to increased excretion of proteins from the body. Nephrotic syndrome is indication of damaged blood vessels in the kidney. Nephrosis or nephropathy involves degeneration of renal tubes. Renal tubules is part of nephron that functions to filter the blood. Nephrosis is clinically manifested in the form of symptoms that are collectively termed as nephrotic syndrome. These clinical manifestations include hypoalbuminemia (low level of albumin in the blood), proteinuria (protein loss through urine) and edema (accumulation of fluid in the tissues). The permeability of filtering membranes of renal tubule is altered and loss of protein occurs through urine. According to an estimation loss of three or more grams of protein through urine is indicative of proteinuria.
Causes and Risk Factors of Nephrosis / Nephrotic Syndrome
Any disease or disorder that can affect and damage the kidneys can lead to nephrosis and thus nephrotic syndrome. These include minimal-change nephropathy (common cause of nephrosis in children), membranous nephropathy, focal glomerulosclerosis (scarring of glomeruli due to genetic factors or infection) and hereditary nephropathies. Certain infections occur in other parts of the body but lead to kidney damage and thus act as secondary risk factors for nephrosis. Such diseases include autoimmune disorder including lupus erythematosus, viral infection including HIV, hepatitis B and C, diabetes mellitus, amyloidosis and preeclampsia. Individuals with sickle cell anemia are susceptible to develop nephrosis. Presence of blood clot in vein of kidney (renal thrombosis) can lead to nephrotic syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms of Nephrosis / Nephrotic Syndrome
The main symptoms of nephrotic syndrome include foamy urine, edema or swelling in feet, ankles and in face, reduction in urination, nausea, lethargy and weight gain. Edema can also lead to high blood pressure, malabsorption of nutrients in the gut, ascites and difficulty breathing due to retention of fluid in lungs. The risk of infection of different pathogenic gram positive and negative bacteria increases and lead to pneumonia, bacterial sepsis and cellulitis.