Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder which is characterised by
Abnormal protein leak
Low levels of proteins in blood (due to protein leakage)
Increased levels of lipid
Swelling of body parts (called edema).
The term Nephrotic Syndrome is coined from two words: Nephros (in Greek) meaning kidney and Syndrome denoting a group of symptoms.
Nephrotic Syndrome is a set of symptoms related to kidney dysfunction, and not a disease, in and of itself. Nephrotic Syndrome is a disorder characterised by loss of proteins in the urine. In realism, Nephrotic Syndrome can be the first sign of various diseases that damage the kidneys, especially tiny blood-filtering units (glomeruli) in the kidneys, where urine is formed. This causes fall in the protein levels in the blood, and water to move into body tissues, causing swelling and bloating of body (edema/Oedema).
To know what is Nephrotic Syndrome, let us first briefly understand the structure and function of the kidneys.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found in the lower back. They are about the size of a fist. The kidneys are like body’s filters, which remove impurities or wastes from the blood via the urine and return the cleaned blood back to the body. Each of these kidneys has millions of units to filter blood called glomeruli. Glomeruli are tiny blood vessels that form a meshwork in the kidney through which blood is strained to filter out excess water and waste products.
When the kidneys are working well, they clean the blood and get rid of waste products, excess salt, and water. When diseased, the kidneys may get rid of things that the body needs to keep, such as proteins and blood cells.
The normal architecture of the glomeruli prevents a majority of protein from getting filtered into the urine and this holds protein in the blood. Protein help the blood soak up water from tissues. But kidneys with damaged filters may let protein leak into the urine. As a result, not enough protein is left in the blood to soak up the water. The water then moves from the blood into body tissues, producing swelling. This swelling may be most noticeable around the eyes, legs, hands, belly, etc.
Hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) is common in Nephrotic Syndrome. In addition to albumin, other important enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism, slip through the glomeruli, which contribute to high blood cholesterol.
Homeopathic treatment for Nephrotic Syndrome:
Homeopathy has a well-defined and promising role to play in for the treatment of Nephrotic Syndrome. Experience based and evidence proven results indicate that the homeopathic treatment can offer following results:
It can reduce the frequency of attacks of Nephrotic Syndrome
It can reduce the duration of each episode of Nephrotic Syndrome
It can reduce the attacks of frequent colds and infections, which in turn helps a great deal towards better control
It can help in reducing the dependency on cortisone and cyclosporine.
Nephrotic Syndrome is the outcome of number of diseases that damage the filtering units of the kidneys in a specific way that allows them to leak protein into the urine. Hence there is an array of diseases, which eventually end up in Nephrotic Syndrome. Some of the diseases that cause Nephrotic Syndrome, such as nephritis, affect only the kidney. Other diseases that cause Nephrotic Syndrome, such as diabetes and lupus erythematosus, affect other parts of the body as well. It should be also noted that in vast majority of cases exact cause cannot be pinpointed. The most common causes could be listed as under:
Local diseases (primarily affecting kidneys)
Systemic diseases (affecting various systems of body, one of them being kidney)
Secondary to infections
Ill effects of drugs (e.g. antibiotics like penicillin or drugs given to control blood pressure)
Idiopathic (Unknown causes)
Irrespective of what causes Nephrotic Syndrome, the following are the most common signs and symptoms of the condition. However, it should be noted that each individual might experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome may include edema (swelling of face, abdomen and body), proteinuria (passing of protein in urine), hypoalbuminemia (low level of proteins in blood), and hyperlipidemia (high amount of lipids in blood).
Edema: Nephrotic Syndrome is characterized by proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and hyperlipidemia. The first noticeable outcome of all these metabolic deviations is edema or bloating of the body. It is the major clinical manifestation and presenting symptom in approximately 95-99% of cases with Nephrotic Syndrome. Edema often is so subtle in onset that the family may believe that the individual merely is gaining weight rapidly. Edema in the early phase appears in areas around the eyes, feet and hands, face.
In later stages, swelling may occur in the abdomen (ascites).
Ultimately, the edema may become generalized and can be massive (anasarca). Typically, edema often is worse on the face in the morning (upon arising) and is found predominantly in the lower extremities later in the day. It can cause feelings of tightness in the extremities, having an impact on one’s mobility.
Oliguria: Oliguria means reduction in the quantity of normal urine. The individual with Nephrotic Syndrome visits lavatory less often than before.
Hematuria: Hematuria means passage of blood in the urine. An occasional patient of Nephrotic Syndrome presents with gross hematuria.
General symptoms: Regardless of the type of Nephrotic Syndrome, patients commonly have loss of appetite (anorexia), become irritable, feel fatigued, and appear pale.
Diarrhea: Patients commonly complain of diarrhea, which is secondary to edema of the bowel wall.
Respiratory distress: If ascites is marked, patients commonly complain of respiratory distress, with difficulty in breathing or shallow, rapid breathing.
High blood pressure: Patients of Nephrotic Syndrome, whether young or old, have raised blood pressure.
Susceptibility to infections: Children with Nephrotic Syndrome occasionally present with fever and a septic picture. In a large fraction of these patients, the peritoneal cavity is the site of the infection.
Thromboembolism : Sometimes, patient with Nephrotic Syndrome get blood clots in the blood vessels of their legs or hands.