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Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome – Causes and Symptoms of Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome

Childhood Nephrotic syndrome is a group of disorders of the kidney characterized by edema, heavy proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, edema and hypercholesterolemia. This is usually caused because of the damage that occurs to the small blood vessels that filter the wastes and excess water from the blood.When the blood vessels are damaged, the protein that is retained in the body begins to leak from the blood and is excreted along with urine. This leads to the swelling that occurs all over the body.This can occur at any age but is most common between the ages 1½ and 8 years and this syndrome affects boys more than girls.

Causes of Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome
This syndrome is usually caused by the damage to the clusters of the small blood vessels in the kidneys. Many diseases can cause glomerular damage and can lead to nephrotic syndrome. They include:

  • Minimal change disease: This disease results in impairment of the kidney function but when a kidney tissue is observed through a microscope, the tissue appears near normal or completely normal.
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: This disease is characterized by the scarring of the glomeruli, this may occur due to genetic disorder.
  • Membranous nephropathy: This disorder of the kidney is the result of thickening of the glomeruli and can lead to nephrotic syndrome.
  • Diabetic kidney disease: Diabetes can lead to damage of the kidneys.
  • Amyloidosis: This disorder occurs when substances like amyloid proteins get collected in the kidneys and this results in the damage of the filtering system (glomeruli) in the kidney.
  • Heart failure: Right sided heart failure also can cause nephrotic syndrome.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: This chronic inflammatory disease can cause serious kidney damage.
  • Certain Medications: Some medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and those used to fight infections can cause nephrotic syndrome.
  • Certain Infections: Infections that increase the risk of nephrotic syndrome include HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and malaria.

Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of childhood nephrotic syndrome include:

  • Foam in the toilet caused by the excessive secretion of protein in the urine
  • Swelling around your eyes and ankles and feet
  • Weight gain due to excess fluid retention

When to consult a Medical Health Professional?
Consult your doctor, if you find any of the above signs and symptoms to avoid further damage to the kidneys.

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