Children who experience sudden weight gain, swollen body parts, and a high amount of protein in their urine could have Nephrotic Syndrome. Nephrotic Syndrome may cause various health issues such as swollen body tissues and may be vulnerable to infections.
Nephrotic Syndrome can occur in any age group, however, it’s initially diagnosed in children in the age group of 2 to 5 years. Boys are more vulnerable to this syndrome compared to girls. Children may inherit from their elders who have a history of allergies. This is seen mostly in Asians, which is still unclear. nephrotic syndrome is usually treatable, however, it depends on the root cause.
Steroid medicines can control the symptoms of nephrotic syndrome. Children respond well to steroid medications which prevent further risk of kidney failure. If it’s inherited, the chances are low, in due course may experience kidney failure and may need a kidney transplant.
Problems that occur with nephrotic syndrome.
nephrotic syndrome is mostly seen while the symptoms are under control or when it relapses. Usually, relapses are uncommon as they age and it ends in their late teens.
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Signs and Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome
You may see the following symptoms in Children:
- Swelling around the eyes, lower legs, and other parts of the body. The low protein level in blood reduces the water flow from body tissues into the blood vessels.
- Vulnerable to Infections: When the antibodies (group of proteins) in the blood reduce, children are more likely to get infected often.
- Frothy Urine: During relapses, children may pass less urine than usual. Urine becomes frothy or bubbly due to high protein levels.
- Blood Clots: Proteins that help in preventing blood clotting may also leak into urine increasing the risk of blood clots. Blood gets more concentrated leading to blood thickening resulting in clotting during relapse.
Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome
Most of the children will be diagnosed with “minimal change disease” where the kidneys would appear in an original shape or slightly enlarged when studied under a microscope. However, through an extremely powerful electron microscope, the changes in tissues can be observed.
Diagnosis of Nephrotic Syndrome
A nephrologist will first check for symptoms like swelling and pale skin. A urine test will reveal the amount of protein, blood, and other substances which will help to diagnose kidney damage. If the urine contains a large amount of protein, the urine color changes. The blood test helps examine the proper functioning of the kidney- the low albumin level in blood is one of the signs of Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney biopsy may be required if the initial treatment fails.
Treating Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic Syndrome can be treated with Steroids however, supplementary treatments will be required if the child develops side effects.
Children with Nephrotic Syndrome will have to take steroids until their late teens until the relapses stop. A pediatric nephrologist will further examine and provide specialized treatment.