Causes and treatment of nephrotic syndrome

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Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney condition that the body is excreting too much protein the urine caused by damage to the groups of small blood vessels that function in filtering waste and excess water from the blood. Nephrotic syndrome can cause swelling also known as edema, where the feet and ankles are most affected. It can also cause other health problems such as infections and blood clots.

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Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome

  • Foamy urine that is caused by too much protein in the urine
  • There is swelling or edema that occurs around the eyes and on the ankles and the feet
  • There is weight gained caused by excess fluid retention.
Nephrotic syndrome
There is swelling or edema that occurs around the eyes and on the ankles and the feet


Nephrotic syndrome is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels know as glomeruli of the kidneys and filters the blood passing through the kidneys. Healthy glomeruli keep the blood protein that has albumin which are needed in maintaining the level of fluids in the body and keeps it from entering into the urine.  There are some conditions that can cause nephrotic syndrome:

  • Minimal change disease which is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in children.
  • Membranous nephropathy is a kidney disorder in which there is thickening of membranes inside the glomeruli.
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis that is characterized by scarring of the glomeruli.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause kidney damage.
  • Blood clot in a kidney vein that is connected to the kidney can cause nephrotic syndrome.
  • Some forms of heart failure like constrictive pericarditis and severe right heart failure.

A person suffering from nephrotic syndrome can suffer from complications such as blood clot which is the inability of the glomeruli in filtering blood properly that causes the loss of blood protein that function in preventing clotting.  The level of the protein albumin in the blood goes down and the liver will make more albumins and also the liver will release more cholesterol and triglycerides. Another complication which is the loss of protein in the blood can lead to malnutrition and swelling of the body. A damage to the glomeruli can result in the building up of waste products in the blood stream also known as uremia and can cause a high blood pressure.

The kidneys will lose their ability to filter blood because of the damaged glomeruli and the waste products will build up in the blood. The person will be treated by dialysis. If you want to learn more about this treatment option, click here.

Nephrotic syndrome can make the kidneys lose their functionality over time. The person suffering from this condition will have dialysis or a kidney transplant and those who are suffering from these conditions are more susceptible to infections.

Treatment and home remedies

  • The person suffering from nephrotic syndrome should reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol consumed in the diet to help control the blood cholesterol.
  • Choosing lean sources of protein
  • Reducing the use of salt in the diet in controlling swelling or edema.

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