Nephrotic Syndrome Management
Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder wherein your body passes too much protein in the urine. It generally occurs when your kidneys’ waste-filtering units (glomeruli) get damaged. The condition leads to swelling, especially in your legs and eyes, while increasing your risk of high blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), blood clots, acute kidney injury (AKI), and infections.
Don’t worry! We offer nephrotic syndrome management for patients with proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and hyperlipidemia.
At Nephrology Consultants, P.A., an integrated team of nephrologists is focused on treating any medical condition that might be responsible for your nephrotic syndrome, as well as any complications of the disease. Our team starts with your and your family’s medical history, along with a physical exam, to diagnose the syndrome.
Proteinuria/ Protein in Urine
The condition in which you have high levels of protein in the urine (over 0.15 grams per day) is called ‘proteinuria’. Nephrotic-range proteinuria happens when there is excess protein in urine (3 to 3.5 grams of protein) per day. It is a relatively rare, but serious condition, because excessive proteins will ultimately leave your body through the urine, increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease. Proteinuria causes include medical conditions such as glomerulonephritis (acute kidney inflammation), kidney stones, and kidney cancer. Contact our healthcare providers as soon as you experience symptoms such as increased urination, appetite loss, foamy urine, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
For proteinuria diagnosis, our healthcare team will recommend a dipstick test. The procedure involves placing a dipstick (a thin plastic stick coated with chemicals) into a special container consisting of your urine. The dipstick will change color if the urine has too much protein. We may suggest a series of other tests as well, including a urinalysis, blood tests, and imaging tests. Treatment for protein in urine involves medication and exercise. You can also talk with our specialized diet counselors if you need to make any diet changes for proteinuria treatment.
Albumin protein is responsible for keeping fluid in your blood vessels and for carrying vitamins, hormones, and enzymes throughout your body. Low levels of albumin in urine (below 3.5 g/dL), called ‘hypoalbuminemia’, stop the transportation of these important compounds, preventing them from fulfilling their duties inside the body. Hypoalbuminemia symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, appetite loss, dark-colored urine, difficulty breathing, and frequent urination. Book an appointment with a nephrologist if you notice such signs of hypoalbuminemia.
Our nephrology consultants may recommend an albumin blood test to determine the amount of albumin in your body. We may also suggest a metabolic panel, an albumin-to-creatinine test, or a microalbuminuria test to measure kidney function and see if you are releasing albumin through urination. Based on the cause of your condition, you may require diet changes, blood pressure medication, or dialysis.
Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) occurs when you have an excess amount of lipids or fats (over 240 mg/dL) in your blood. In this case, your blood can’t flow easily through your arteries, putting you at increased risk for heart disease. It can be caused by chronic kidney disease (CKD).
We may recommend you to undergo a lipid panel (blood test to measure your cholesterol levels) and a coronary calcium scan. Our hyperlipidemia specialists in Delaware may also suggest another blood test 2 to 3 months after you start taking hyperlipidemia medication.
Disclaimer: Lab tests are not done in our clinic, but you can consult our nephrologists for your lab reports.
Get the proper treatment for nephrotic syndrome at Nephrology Consultants, P.A. We are present in various locations in Delaware.