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What Is IgA Nephropathy

What is IgA Nephropathy? IgA Nephropathy is a kidney disorder that occurs when large amounts of IgA immune complexes deposit in mesangial area. It is an autoimmune disease and also known as Berger’s Disease or IgA Nephropathy Nephritis.

In medicine, IgA Nephropathy can be primary or secondary. It is the most common glomerulonephritis and according to medical studies, about 25%-30% of IgA Nephropathy progress to Chronic Renal Failure during a period of 20 years.

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Tests and Diagnosis of IgA Nephropathy

Diagnosis of IgA Nephropathy is based on renal biopsy. In this test, a small sample of tissue is removed from kidney for examination. The biopsy specimen shows proliferation of the mesangium, with IgA deposits on immunofluorescence and electron microscopy.

Besides, IgA Nephropathy patients always experience blood urine, so tests like ultrasound of the kidney and cystoscopy are usually done firstly to pinpoint the source of the bleeding. These tests help to rule out kidney stones and bladder cancer which are another two common causes of blood urine.

Also, for IgA Nephropathy patients, other tests like blood tests and urine test are usually done to help diagnose IgA Nephropathy.

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How Is IgA Nephropathy Caused

IgA Nephropathy is a kidney problem. Its occurrence is believed to be related with immune system. We all know IgA Nephropathy is marked by IgA immune complexes in mesangial area. In normal condition, we can fight against the attack of virus or surrounding harmful substances owing to our strong immune system. However, for IgA Nephropathy patients, due to the abnormality of their immune system, antigen invade their body easily. When antigen get into their body and combine with IgA antibody, IgA immune complexes are formed. IgA immune complexes circulate with blood and when they deposit in mesangial, inflammation occurs.

For IgA Nephropathy patients, inflammation is the direct cause of their kidney damages. In kidney, glomerulus works as a filter. It helps to filter blood and preserve useful substances like protein and red blood cells. When glomeruli are injured, excess protein and red blood cells leak into urine, causing proteinuria and hematuria. This is the reason why IgA Nephropathy patients have abnormal test results.

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What Are the Symptoms of IgA Nephropathy

IgA Nephropathy is a glomerular disease, in which glomeruli are injured. With IgA Nephropathy, patients usually experience:

Repeated hematuria which may be gross hematuria or microscopic hematuria.

Proteinuria which is manifested as bubbly urine or foamy urine.

Swelling or edema

High blood pressure

Tiredness which usually occurs as a consequence of renal anemia

Digestive discomforts like poor appetite, nausea and vomiting

Skin problems like dry skin, yellow skin and itchy skin

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Treatment Options for IgA Nephropathy

For IgA Nephropathy patients, to prevent further kidney damages, blocking inflammation is essential. However, to stop illness progression, just blocking inflammation is far from enough, we also need to clear IgA immune complexes away from mesangial area and meanwhile prevent the further deposition of IgA immune complexes. At present, there is no such a treatment that can help to clear IgA immune complexes away from kidneys over night and also there is no method can help to revive necrotic glomeruli. Therefore, IgA Nephropathy as of now is incurable. Though IgA Nephropathy can not be cured, but with effective and timely treatment, impaired kidney function can be improved. The followings are the several treatment options that can be used to treat IgA Nephropathy:

Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy: Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy can not clear all the IgA immune complexes away from kidney over night, but it turns out that IgA deposition can be removed little by little with micro-Chinese medicine.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a combination of western medicines and Chinese medicine. With this treatment, kidney function can be improved and also relapse of IgA Nephropathy can be prevented effectively.

When IgA Nephropathy deteriorates to an extremely severe illness condition, polluted blood therapy can be applied.

Besides, for IgA Nephropathy patients, if their kidneys have failed completely, dialysis and kidney transplant will be the last two options.

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Diet Plan for IgA Nephropathy

Suggest diet for IgA Nephropathy patients include:

1. Low-protein diet: High protein intake can cause extra burden on kidney, which is not good for patients to bring their illness condition under control. In addition, protein is a must for a healthy body, so to meet the basic demand of their body, IgA Nephropathy patients can ingest some high quality protein which can be found in lean meat, fish, milk and egg white.

2. Low-salt diet: For IgA Nephropathy patients who have Nephrotic Syndrome symptoms or high blood pressure, they need to stay away from pickled foods and processed foods.

3. Fluid intake: Patients living with fluid retention need to limit fluid intake; otherwise, their swelling will be aggravated.

4. Adjust potassium intake and phosphorus intake

If lab tests show high levels of potassium and phosphorus in blood, foods which are high in potassium or phosphorus like banana and spinach should be avoided.

There is no such a food list that is suitable for all the IgA Nephropathy patients, so it is necessary for you to consult your doctor before making diet changes.

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