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Nephrotic Syndrome Complications

Nephrotic Syndrome being a chronic disease affecting the vital organ such as kidney, it can have long term complications, which can briefly be described as under:

01 Less proteins in blood (hypoproteinemia): Constant and prolonged loss of proteins leads to low levels of proteins in the blood, which in turn lead to lowered resistance, making one prone to not only various infections but also many metabolic complications.

02 Infections: Recurrentinfections occur in the case of Nephrotic syndrome due to protein and immunoglobulin loss. One becomes prone to various bacterial and viral infections, which include streptococcal, staphylococcal infections. Retention of fluid becomes a growth medium for various organisms. White blood cells have reduced capacity to fight against bacteria.

03 High blood pressure (hypertension): Due to loss low levels of proteins, there is a fluid retention in the body; which leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can hamper kidney functions.

04 Steroid (cortisone) dependency: Dependency on and resistance to cortisone, which occurs in many cases, should be considered a complication of the disease/treatment.Some complications arise due to the use of immunosuppressive medicines, which are a. adverse effects of cortisone or cyclosporine b. infections due to suppressed immunity c. dependency on immunosuppressive medicines.

05 Hyperlipidemia: Low levels of proteins (hypoproteinemia) leads to low serum oncotic pressure, which in turn leads to increased lipids in blood, called as Hyperlipidemia, which is a part of Nephrotic Syndrome; sometimes appear as a complication. Increased levels of lipids (fats)  get deposited on the blood vessels leading to the condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, in turn, lead to high blood pressure.

06 Hypocalcemia: Low levels of calcium in blood called Hypocalcemia, occurs due to low proteins in blood. Low calcium, in turn, leads to weakbones and bony abnormalities. Use of cortisone (steroid) again adds to loss of calcium, and more hypocalcemia.

07 Hypercoagulability or hyper-clotting: Due to loss of anti-clotting factors such as antithrombin III and plasminogen, blood looses its capacity to remain fluid. This can lead to formation of abnormal clots in the blood and in different organs such as veins. Such clots may migrate to other parts such as lungs and may lead to what is called as pulmonary embolism, which is a serious condition.

It must be noted that all of the above complications may not occur in all the patents.

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