What Is Nephropathy?
Nephropathy is, basically, a broad medical concept that is used to define a disease or damage related to the kidney. It can result in a kidney failure. The basic functions of the kidneys are to excrete the body’s waste products as well as regulate acid-base and water balance of the body. So, the damaged kidney functions are considered as a fatal condition.
Nephropathy is regarded as a progressive illness that means the kidneys gradually lose their efficacy and become lesser effective over the time. If this particular condition is left untreated, the condition of the patient gets serious. So, it is very important to get a quick and sufficient diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
Nephropathy is mainly divided into two groups:
- Diabetic Nephropathy
- IgA (Immunoglobulin A) Nephropathy
They are discussed as follows:
- Diabetic Nephropathy: Diabetic nephropathy is regarded as one of the major complications of diabetes mellitus. It is a common problem for many diabetic patients. Diabetic nephropathy is associated with glomerular and albuminuria hyperfiltration, as well as renal hypertrophy in the initial stage, and then followed by a renal failure in the last stage.
- Proper maintenance of hyperglycaemia, serum lipid levels, and hypertension are essential in order to prevent the development and progression of nephropathy in the diabetic patients. There is no treatment available that is able to halt its progression towards the last-stage renal failure. So, new therapies and medications are required in proper managing of nephropathy.
- IgA Nephropathy: IgA nephropathy is associated with the IgA antibodies’ deposition in the glomeruli. It can be accompanied by IgM or IgG antibodies. IgA nephropathy activates with inner immune complement and response along with the immune complex formation. Basically, IgA nephropathy is not associated with any proper clinical presentation, so its diagnosis needs a renal biopsy.
Other two types of nephropathy are Analgesic nephropathy and Acute Uric Acid nephropathy. Analgesic nephropathy is considered as a chronic renal disease that is caused by prolonged and excessive consumption of various analgesic mixtures. Acute Uric Acid nephropathy is associated with intratubular deposition of high serum concentration of uric acid crystals. It mainly occurs at the time of induction chemotherapy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nephropathy?
Signs and symptoms of nephropathy are divided into two categories- symptoms of diabetic nephropathy and symptoms of IgA nephropathy.
Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy
- Generally, in initial stages, diabetic nephropathy is not associated with any specific symptoms. If an individual is suffering from kidney damage, then a small amount of protein will be leaked through his/her urine (albuminuria). Protein is not excreted with urine in normal cases except during the times of strenuous exercise, high fever, pregnancy, and infection.
- As this condition deteriorates, the affected kidneys cannot perform their work perfectly as they are no longer able to clear drugs and toxins from the body. They are also no longer able to balance various chemicals in patient’s blood.
- If you are suffering from diabetic nephropathy, then you can be associated with the following symptoms:
- Losing proteins in your urine.
- You can be suffering from higher blood pressure.
- You can be associated with higher levels of triglyceride and cholesterol.
- The symptoms associated with advanced-stage nephropathy are as follows:
- Feet and legs swelling.
- Weight loss, Weakness, Poor appetite, Nausea or vomiting, Feeling tired, Sleeping troubles.
Symptoms of IgA nephropathy
- IgA nephropathy is also not associated with any initial symptoms. But, when the kidney function is deteriorated, the following symptoms can be seen:
- Tea or cola coloured urine (caused by RBC in urine).
- Visible blood in urine.
- High blood pressure.
- Edema in hands and feet.
What Are The Causes Of Nephropathy?
The causes of nephropathy are divided into two groups- causes of Diabetic Nephropathy and causes of IgA Nephropathy.
Causes of Diabetic Nephropathy:
The kidneys are associated with many small blood vessels that work as a filter and excrete waste from the blood. In diabetes, high blood sugar can destroy those blood vessels. Over the passage of time, the kidneys can’t perform their work properly. In the long run, they can completely stop their working, and this situation is called kidney failure. If you are a diabetic patient and associated with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, then your risk is higher in developing diabetic nephropathy.
Causes of IgA Nephropathy:
The actual reason of IgA deposits in kidneys is still unknown. But, the following factors may be associated with the IgA Nephropathy:
- Genetic factor: IgA nephropathy can occur due to genetic reasons as the particular condition is more common in some ethnic groups and families.
- Celiac disease: The particular disease is considered as a digestive condition that is associated with the consumption of gluten (a particular type of protein found in grains), and it can cause IgA Nephropathy.
- Liver diseases: Liver cirrhosis, as well as chronic hepatitis B and C, may develop IgA Nephropathy.
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis: It is an itchy and blistering skin disease that is a result of gluten intolerance, and it can develop IgA Nephropathy in your body.
- Several infections: Some bacterial infections and HIV infection can develop IgA Nephropathy.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Nephropathy?
You should do the following things if you want to maintain your kidney health:
- Your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels should be regularly checked.
- Regular physical activity is very important.
- Try to lose your extra fats.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Nephropathy?
- You should strictly avoid doing following things if you want to maintain your kidney health:
- Don’t exercise when you are unfit as it can create pressure on your kidneys.
- Smoking may damage renal blood vessels that can decrease blood flow to your kidneys. So, don’t smoke if you want to maintain the healthier kidneys.
What Are The Best Foods For Nephropathy?
You should take the following foods if you are suffering from kidney complications, but don’t forget to take opinion from your doctor:
- Drink enough water: Drink about 3-4 litres water per day. Sufficient amount of water will help to flush out the toxins from your body as well as reduce the load on kidneys.
- Immune boosting foods: You should add immune boosting foods in your diet in order to maintain your kidney health such as red bell pepper, cabbage, onion, cauliflower, garlic, guava, apple, papaya, pear, pineapple, egg white, fresh water fish, milk, and milk products.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is a rich source of oleic acid that is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Always try to buy virgin or extra virgin olive oil as they are high in antioxidants.
What Are The Worst Foods For Nephropathy?
The following foods can aggravate kidney problems, so do not eat them, but consult your doctor also:
- Oxalate-rich foods: Try to less your oxalate-rich foods intake such as peanuts, spinach, grains, legumes, chocolate, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beetroots, etc. If they are consumed more than the normal limit, then different kidney complications can occur.
- Sodium-rich foods: Sodium enhances blood pressure level that in turn increases pressure on kidneys. These foods include cheese, bacon, meats, salted chips, nuts, pickle, popcorn, MSG, meat, canned foods, soda-bi-carbonate, etc.
- Potassium-rich foods: If you are suffering from kidney related problems, then consumption of potassium-rich foods can increase the excretion load on kidneys. These foods include coriander leaves, drumstick leaves, potato, spinach, sweet potato, tapioca, jaggery, nuts, instant coffee, cocoa powder, chocolate, etc.
- Phosphorus-rich foods: You should limit your intake of phosphorus-rich foods as they can enhance the pressure on kidneys. So, try to less consume meat, poultry, banana, guava, pulses, colas, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Nephropathy?
What Are The Tips To Manage Nephropathy?
Take healthy diet, reduce salt intake, and maintain regular check-up.