Nephrotic syndrome is a group of changes caused by damage to the kidney. Changes may include:
Nephrotic syndrome is caused by damage to tiny filters in the kidneys. These filters pull waste and extra water from the blood and keep important items like protein in the blood. When the filters are damaged they have trouble doing their job.
The filters can be damage by other medical conditions such as:
Factors that may increase your chance of nephrotic syndrome include:
Nephrotic syndrome may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. High blood pressure may indicate kidney damage.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Imaging tests will help your doctor view the kidney and area around it. Test options include:
If your doctor suspects nephrotic syndrome, you may be referred to a kidney specialist.
When possible, the cause of nephrotic syndrome will need to be treated. Sometimes treating the cause will make the syndrome go away. If it cannot be stopped, treatment may help slow the damage.
Other treatment may help decrease the problems caused by nephrotic syndrome. Your doctor may recommend:
Most conditions that lead to nephrotic syndrome cannot be prevented. However, the risk of type 2 diabetes may be reduced through exercise and weight control.
National Kidney Foundation
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Kidney Foundation of Canada
Nephrotic syndrome. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nephrotic. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Nephrotic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114446/Nephrotic-syndrome-in-adults. Updated March 21, 2016. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Nephrotic syndrome in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/nephrotic-syndrome-in-adults/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated February 2014. Accessed July 12, 2013.
Last reviewed January 2018 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.