Nephrotic  Syndrome and Aging May Have Something In Common

Nephrotic syndrome and aging may not be linked 100%, but the potential causes of this very dangerous condition are much more common to our age group.

In fact, once all of us hit the 60 year old threshold, there are several of the potential causes that we may already face.

However, the good news, unlike several different kidney diseases, it is not the result of high blood pressure.

It may cause hypertension, but high blood pressure does not trigger it.

While it is often compared to or even confused with Glomerulonephritis, it is slightly different for a couple of reasons.

Nephrotic Syndrome and Aging is Different

Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of our glomeruli, which are minuet blood vessels that basically make up the structure of our kidneys.

When this attacks us, waste products are not filtered out of our body by our kidneys like they were designed to do.

However, with Nephrotic syndrome and aging, something much different is happening; we are losing way too much protein when we urinate.

Here is what is happening.

  • We begin to lose large amounts of valuable proteins via our urine
  • This is the result of damage being done to the same small vessels as Glomerulonephritis
  • This begins to weaken our kidneys
  • As they weaken, we begin to build up fluid as well as salt in our body

The damage to the minuet blood vessels that make the structure of our kidneys is the same as Glomerulonephritis.

However, what makes this condition slightly different is the loss of protein.

It May Go Away On Its Own

There is something else that makes it different than most all of the other kidney challenges that make it different as we get older.

It may disappear totally once it is treated.

However, the key word here is “may”, as it can also last for several years if not caught and treated, and will sooner or later cause permanent damage to our kidneys.

The possible connection with Nephrotic syndrome and aging begins with the potential underlying causes, and there are several.

Here is the first group of potential causes.

  • Glomerulosclerosis
  • Hepatitis B, lupus, Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Amyloidosis
  • Blood clots
  • Heart disease

Glomerulosclerosis, especially when it is what is referred to as “focal segmental”, can and does cause scarring on our kidneys.

The scarring may be scattered, and is believed to be genetic in nature.

Hepatitis B, lupus, as well as cancer can all cause the membranes of our glomeruli to begin to thicken, triggering this condition.

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Diabetes Damages Our Kidneys

Diabetes damages our kidneys and Amyloidosis is a situation where proteins, called amyloid proteins, begin to back up and accumulate in our organs.

While blood clots in the veins of our kidneys are not common, they can develop, also triggering this condition.

There are several heart related conditions that can also trigger it.

However, there are more possible causes of Nephrotic syndrome and aging and they include the following.

  • Some medications
  • High cholesterol levels

As we all get older, the vast majority of us are taking a lot more prescription medications than we once did.

However, we are also taking a lot more non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs than we used to, for a myriad of reasons.

We may not fully understand the term non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or its acronym, NSAIDs, but we will know their product names.

The Common Drugs

This is why the connection between Nephrotic syndrome and aging may be made as here are the “common medications”

  • Aspirin
  • Motrin
  • Advil
  • Naprosyn
  • Aleve

Now take a minute and think about these facts.

How many of us throughout our lifetimes have taken these “common” drugs, or better yet, how many of us are taking them right now.

And do we take them every single day, 2-3 times a day as they may help us relieve numerous kinds of pain we are facing?

If we talk to any medical professional, including our Pharmacist, they will tell us that these can and do damage not only of liver, but our kidneys as well.

Here are the most common symptoms with the connection between Nephrotic syndrome and aging.

  • A gradual swelling around our ankles and feet
  • A gradual swelling around our eyes—perhaps the most telling symptom
  • The development of “foam” in our urine
  • A slow weight gain for no apparent reason.

There are several conditions that can cause swelling in our ankles and feet, including high blood pressure.

What Can Help

However, other than some type of an allergic reaction, there are very few that will cause swelling around our eyes.

We may also have seen “foam” in our urine, especially if we have drunk alcohol the night before, but when it becomes the standard, it is a real warning sign.

The good news, however with the possible link with Nephrotic syndrome and aging, is that there several treatments to help it and the potential underlying cause.

They include the following.

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Diuretics—better known as water pills
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Blood thinners 

High blood pressure is the single largest cause of most kidney diseases, and while it is not the major cause of this condition, controlling it is critical.

Diuretics, better known as water pills, can be hard to handle at first, especially at our ages.

However, they are critical to help control the swelling that is occurring. Cholesterol medications may help, but there is still a lot of medical debate about this.

Blood thinners, especially if we are prone to blood clots, may also help.

There are also some natural treatments we can do and they include controlling our diets by eating lean proteins only, and reducing the fat and cholesterol that we eat.

Eating low salt diets will also help with the swelling.

References

http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/other-kidney-conditions/nephrotic-syndrome.html


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