Nephros (in Greek) meaning kidney and Syndrome denoting a
group of symptoms.
Nephrotic Syndrome is a set of symptoms related to kidney
dysfunction, and not a disease, in and of itself. Nephrotic Syndrome is
a disorder characterized by loss of proteins in
the urine. In realism, Nephrotic Syndrome can be the first sign of various diseases that damage
the kidneys, especially tiny blood-filtering units (glomeruli) in the
kidneys, where urine is formed. This causes fall in the
protein levels in the blood, and water to move into body
tissues, causing swelling and bloating of body (edema/Oedema). To know
what is Nephrotic Syndrome, let us first briefly understand
the structure and function of the kidneys. The kidneys
are two bean-shaped organs found in the lower back. They are
about the size of a fist. The kidneys are like bodys
filters, which remove impurities or wastes from the blood
via the urine and return the cleaned blood back to the body.
Each of these kidneys has millions of units to filter blood
called glomeruli. Glomeruli are tiny blood vessels that form
a meshwork in the kidney through which blood is strained to
filter out excess water and waste products.
When the kidneys are working well, they clean the blood and
get rid of waste products, excess salt, and water.When
diseased, the kidneys may get rid of things that the body
needs to keep, such as proteins and blood cells.
The normal architecture of the glomeruli prevents a majority
of protein from getting filtered into the urine and this
holds protein in the blood. Protein help the blood soak up
water from tissues. But kidneys with damaged filters may let
protein leak into the urine. As a result, not enough protein
is left in the blood to soak up the water. The water then
moves from the blood into body tissues, producing swelling.
This swelling may be most noticeable around the eyes, legs,
hands, belly, etc.
Normally, a person loses less than 150 mg of protein in the
urine in a 24-hour period. However, patient of Nephrotic
Syndrome will loose more than 3.5 grams or more of protein
during a 24-hour period, or 25 times the normal amount. As
body looses this vital protein in the urine, this results in
drop of protein in the blood called hypoproteinemia or
hypoalbuminemia, another cardinal feature of Nephrotic
Hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) is
common in Nephrotic Syndrome. In addition to albumin, other
important enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism, slip
through the glomeruli, which contribute to high blood
How common is the condition
About two in every 10,000 people experience Nephrotic
Syndrome. Nephrotic Syndrome can affect children and adults
of any age. In children it is more frequently encountered
between 2-5 years of age. The disease is more common in
males than their female counterparts. The condition tends to
be more common in families with a history of allergies.
This notorious condition becomes more distressing because of
its chronic nature and tendency for frequent relapse and
Homoeopathy, a holistic branch of medicine has promising role
to offer in vast majority of chronic diseases, one amongst
them being Nephrotic Syndrome. This individual specific and
not disease specific branch of medicine treats patient
effectively, gently, without producing any side effects.