May also be called: NS: Nephrosis
Nephrotic (neh-FROT-ik) syndrome is a condition in which a person loses large amounts of protein through the urine, which can lead to swelling of the face (often the eyes) or body (often around the genitals).
Blood is filtered by tiny structures in the kidneys called glomeruli. A number of different conditions can cause the glomeruli to allow too much protein to come out of the blood and into the urine (pee). Protein helps hold fluids in the blood. With less protein, the fluids can move to other parts of the body and cause a type of swelling called edema, usually in the face, abdomen, arms, and legs. This can be accompanied by unintentional weight gain.
Nephrotic syndrome isn't a disease and doesn't cause pain, but it can be a sign of kidney problems that may require treatment.
For most younger kids, nephrotic syndrome is caused by a condition called minimal change disease. Other common causes in teens and adults include cancer, diabetes, and diseases and disorders of the kidney. Treatment for nephrotic syndrome involves treating the condition affecting the glomeruli.
Medication can effectively treat many causes of nephrotic syndrome, including minimal change disease. Most kids whose nephrotic syndrome is due to minimal change disease will eventually outgrow the condition during their teens.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|National Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.|
|Nephron Information Center The Nephron Information Center offers information about how the kidneys work, transplants, and links to other sites.|
|American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) The AAKP serves kidney patients and their families by helping them cope with the emotional, physical, and social impact of kidney failure.|
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|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.|
|Glomerulonephritis With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.|
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