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Nephrotic Syndrome- How Ayurveda deals with it?

Nephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that appears when your kidneys are not working well. The small blood vessels present in the kidneys function as a filter. These blood vessels are a part of “Glomeruli,” the filtering part of your kidney. These vessels help in clearing out waste and extra water from your blood. This waste and water pass through the ureter and gets accumulated in the urinary bladder and leaves the body as urine. When the kidneys are damaged and the process of filtering is not done properly, too much protein slips through the filters into the urine. This results in the state of nephrotic syndrome.

Nephrotic syndrome can affect adults and children, but it is good to know that nephrotic syndrome treatment has shown remarkable progress in the past few years. In fact, ayurvedic treatment for nephrotic syndrome makes use of various approaches such as ayurvedic medicine for nephrotic syndrome, lifestyle changes etc. for nephritic treatment has also shown encouraging results. 

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What causes leads to the development of Nephrotic Syndrome?

It could be easy for the physician to find out the cause of the syndrome. They would find out the condition that affects your kidneys. They call that the “primary” cause of the nephrotic syndrome.

They might also look for another issue with any other part of your body that might also affect your kidneys. Those are known as “secondary” causes of nephrotic syndrome. The conditions that are found to be involved in causing damage to your glomeruli includes:

  • Minimal change disease, also known as Nil Disease: It is the main cause of nephrotic syndrome in children. Kidneys of people suffering from this disease look relatively normal under a microscope, it's only the kidney functions that exhibit abnormalities. Scientists are still not able to identify the reason for hampered functioning of kidneys. But they can locate a few potential causes of the disease-like, infections from viruses, allergic reactions, taking certain medications, and using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS: It is a disease that scars the glomeruli in the kidneys. It is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. FSGS can also be caused due to viruses (such as HIV), certain medications, genetic mutations, long-term obesity, hypertension, and many more.
  • Membranous nephropathy: A condition where the membranes of the glomeruli thicken. Phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) antibodies are found to be associated with primary membranous nephropathies.
  • Cancer, malaria, hepatitis B & C, HIV, and lupus may be associated with the Secondary causes.
  • Diabetes has been found as the most common secondary cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. It has been found to be involved in kidney damage. The condition thus caused is known as diabetic nephropathy.
  • Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) is a chronic disease of the immune system. It has been found to be involved in creating serious damage to the kidneys.
  • Amyloidosis occurs when a substance called amyloid proteins builds up in your blood. This also has been found involved in creating damage to your kidneys.

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How to identify the Signs and Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome?

The main symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are:

  1. Presence of too much protein in your urine, also known as proteinuria.
  2. Hyperlipidemia, presence of high amounts of fat and cholesterol levels in the blood.
  3. Edema of legs, ankles, feet, and lower abdomen. Sometimes your hands and face are also affected.
  4. Low serum albumin levels, i.e., low levels of albumin in your blood. It is known as “hypoalbuminemia.

Other symptoms of the nephrotic syndrome include:

  • Foamy urine
  • Loss of appetite and nausea
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Sudden weight gain due to retention of too much fluid
  • Tiredness

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Who is at Risk for Nephrotic Syndrome?

Certain medical conditions like diabetes, lupus, and amyloidosis increase the chances of nephrotic syndrome. Consuming drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly increases the risk of Nephrotic Syndrome.

Certain infections that have been found involved in increasing the chance of nephrotic syndrome include:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Malaria
  • Untreated strep infection in kids

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How can we Diagnose the presence of Nephrotic Syndrome?

To diagnose the presence of nephrotic syndrome, you must check the number of proteins in your urine. Certain blood tests can also help you to check your kidney functions. Your doctor may also ask you to identify the presence of a secondary cause of the nephrotic syndrome, such as diabetes. Some people might require kidney biopsy, which requires taking a tissue sample for study under a microscope.

Urine dipstick test checks the presence of albumin in your urine. The dipstick changes its colour, if albumin is present in the urine. If the amount of albumin present in urine crosses a certain level, we call it albuminuria. To confirm the presence of nephrotic syndrome, one must do one of these two urine tests.

  • 24-hour urine collection. Collect urine samples over 24 hours. The sample is then analysed in a medical laboratory.
  • Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR). This test measures both albumin and creatinine. This test uses a single urine sample to estimate the amount of albumin lost in 24 hours.

What are the Complications related to Nephrotic Syndrome?

If left untreated, nephrotic syndrome can cause other problems like:

  • Blood clots due to the hampered ability to prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Infections such as pneumonia and meningitis because your body loses immunoglobulins
  • Kidney failure, as damaged kidneys are unable to remove waste products from your bloodstream.

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What are the possible Treatments for Nephrotic Syndrome?

Your treatment plan is based entirely on the underlying causes of the disease. Lowering your blood cholesterol, treating hypertension, and reducing edema may be key goals for treating proteinuria. Doctors usually recommend diuretics, cholesterol-lowering drugs and anticoagulants to nephrotic syndrome patients. Ayurvedic nephrotic syndrome treatment  has also gained a lot of currency in the past few years due to the use of herbal medicines and very little side-effects.

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A help from Ayurveda

An unusually high concentration of proteins in urine is a cause of concern. Nephrotic syndrome ayurvedic treatment offers medicines, therapies and lifestyle changes to effectively treat the underlying cause of this disease. These Ayurvedic medicines help in the restoration of the overall health of kidneys. Ayurvedic nephrotic syndrome treatment uses ayurvedic medicine for Nephrotic syndrome to deal with this problem.

Herbs, condiments and spices like cardamom, coriander, dandelion root, gokshuradi, juggle, musta, punarnava, and triphala, etc. are primarily used in ayurvedic nephrotic syndrome treatment. These herbs help to improve kidney function and ease out the symptoms.

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At times, treatment is not required for mild stages of nephrotic syndrome. But in cases where your protein leakage lasts a little longer, then you must treat the underlying conditions.

Possible treatment includes:

Few measures that are followed in nephrotic syndrome treatment with Ayurveda:

  • Avoid preserved foods. Salt, the most common preservative, should be strictly prohibited for kidney patients.
  • Eat permitted fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains helpful for keeping your system clean and healthy.
  • Pranayama /breathing exercises are proven beneficial in improving overall health. Walking, swimming, running or yoga is also helpful.

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Disclaimer: This information provided on this page is intended for information purposes only. It should not be taken as a piece for professional medical advice without consulting any medical practitioner. For further advice, you can use this helpline: +91-9821929797 number or visit www.karmaayurvedahospital.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is nephrotic syndrome and why is it important to treat it?

    A kidney disorder that results in our body excreting too much protein in urine. It can be fatal, if not treated properly.

  • Causes could include minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and membranous nephropathy. It sometimes plays a secondary role to systemic diseases like diabetes, lupus, and infections.

  • You may experience severe swelling (edema) in the legs, ankles, and around the eyes, foamy urine, weight gain because of fluid retention, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

  • Urine tests, blood tests and kidney biopsy.

  • Doctors usually prescribe immunosuppressants, diuretics etc. In addition to this, ayurvedic treatment for nephrotic syndrome offers ayurvedic medicine for nephrotic syndrome, dietary modifications etc. Dialysis or kidney transplantation may also be recommended to patients with severe symptoms.

  • Ayurvedic treatment is a natural treatment for nephrotic syndrome. Herbs like Punarnava, Gokshura, and Varun are used to alleviate the symptoms and strengthen the overall functioning of our kidneys. Yoga is also an active component of ayurvedic treatment for nephrotic syndrome.

  • Apart from ayurvedic medicine for nephrotic syndrome, dietary changes are also a big part of herbal treatment. You should reduce your salt intake and avoid high-on protein food. Refrain from meat, processed foods and foods high-on cholesterol and fat.  Stay well-hydrated too.

  • It is not entirely preventable, however, a proactive management of underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and auto-immune diseases can greatly decrease your chances of getting this disease. A healthy lifestyle also goes a long way in improving your overall kidney health.

  • Ayurvedic nephrotic syndrome treatment makes an active case for including  herbal remedies such as cardamom, coriander, dandelion root, gokshuradi, guggul, musta, punarnava, and triphala in your treatment plan to keep your kidneys healthy. However, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before consuming any herb for health purposes.

  • Untreated nephrotic syndrome may lead you to infections, blood clots, kidney damage, chronic kidney disease, and high cholesterol levels. Be alert and see a doctor, if you sense any abnormality in the functioning of your kidneys.

  • Yes, as you have to address the underlying causes of this disease thoroughly. Manage your health well, eat a kidney-friendly diet, avoid stress and practice abstinence from alcohol and tobacco.

  • A healthy you means healthy kidneys. Be mindful of what you eat. Avoid processed foods, protein-rich foods, alcohol, tobacco. Stay well-hydrated and above all, manage your stress well.

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