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Healthy kidneys remove wastes from the blood. They also help balance water, salt, and mineral levels in the blood. Nephrotic syndrome is a sign that your kidneys aren't working right. When you have this kidney problem, you have high levels of protein in your urine. You may also have low levels of protein and high levels of cholesterol in your blood.
The most common symptom is swelling around the eyes or in the feet or ankles. You may also notice foamy urine or weight gain from fluid buildup. The syndrome also increases the risk of infections.
Diabetes is the most common cause of the syndrome. It can also be caused by kidney disease, lupus, some infections, and certain cancers. In some cases, the cause is not known.
Which treatment you get depends on your age and what health problem is causing nephrotic syndrome. Your doctor might prescribe medicines. You might also need other treatments if the syndrome is causing other problems, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Mitchell H. Rosner MD - Nephrology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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