IgA Nephropathy

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What is IgA Nephropathy

To understand the concept of this disease, you need to grasp the working of kidneys. We all know that kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located just below the rib cage. The main work of kidneys is to filter out blood and remove all the waste materials like creatinine and urea from the body.

What is IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease)? It is a chronic kidney disorder that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in your kidneys. It usually progresses slowly and affects the functioning of the kidneys. It is a slow process, so many fail to notice its symptoms. Read on to learn its symptoms, causes and all the possible treatment to get rid of this disease.

What are the Symptoms of IgA Nephropathy?

It is a slow process, and its symptoms remain unnoticed. The major symptom of this disease is blood in the urine, also called “Hematuria.”

Signs and symptoms are:

  • Brown or tea-colored urine
  • Pain on the side of your back (flank pain)
  • Protein in the urine (proteinuria)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Swelling of the hands and feet

What are the Causes of IgA Nephropathy?

The immune system relies on a big protein called immunoglobulin or antibodies to destroy dangerous germs and viruses. Immunoglobulin A, also known as IgA, is one form of immunoglobulin. When a person has IgA nephropathy, their IgA doesn’t function correctly. The IgA incorrectly bonds to other IgA molecules, forming lengthy chains, as opposed to only attaching to bacteria and viruses.

The chains ultimately end up deposited in the filters of the kidney as they move in the blood. (glomeruli). In the organism, these IgA crystals cause inflammation. Damage to the kidneys could ultimately result from this infection.

Why a person’s IgA behaves in this manner is currently not completely understood. Because the condition occasionally occurs in families, researchers think it may have a hereditary component.

According to studies, the reason for IgA accumulation is unknown, but certain things are connected to the condition, like:

  • Genes: IgA is a documented genetic disorder, and those with a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it themselves.
  • Infections: People with HIV infection and various bacterial infections have a higher chance of developing IgA nephropathy.
  • Liver diseases include cirrhosis, a situation in which healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, and chronic hepatitis B and C infection. IgA Nephropathy can also result from this.
  • Ethnicity: Compared to Blacks and people of other races, members of White and Asian ethnic groups are more likely to develop IgA nephropathy.
  • Age: Those in the late teen to late 30s age range are most at risk of getting this illness.

Diagnosis of IgA Nephropathy

When red blood cells and protein are found in the urine during a regular examination, this may be the first sign of IgA nephropathy.

A medical professional will examine you physically and go over your medical and family background. If you have ever observed that your urine is black or reddish in color or if you have a history of urinary tract infections, they may also inquire about these symptoms. (UTIs).

The following tests may also be carried out in order to assist in confirming a diagnosis and distinguishing your illness from other diseases:

  • To check for IgA deposits, renal tissue (a biopsy is the only way to confirm a diagnosis)
  • Creatinine and urea test to find out if the waste materials are accumulating in the body
  • eGFR test to test the functioning of kidneys
  • Blood pressure test
  • Sugar/cholesterol test

Treatment of IgA Nephropathy

Controlling Blood Pressure: Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. Without any symptoms, it can result in severe health issues. Controlling high BP is one of the best ways to get rid of many problems.

Natural tips to control High BP:

  • Regular Physical Activity
  • Eat Less Salt
  • Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
  • Reduce Your Stress

Controlling Sugar Levels: High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and can cause complications in the functioning of kidneys.

Natural ways/tips to control sugar levels:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage your carbs intake
  • Eat more fibre
  • Drink water and stay hydrated
  • Implement portion control