Nephrotic (neh-FROT-ik) syndrome is a condition in which a person loses large
amounts of protein through the urine,
which can lead to swelling of the face (often the eyes) or body (often around the
More to Know
Blood is filtered
by tiny structures in the kidneys
called glomeruli. A number of different conditions can cause the glomeruli to allow
too much protein to come out of the blood and into the urine (pee). Protein helps
hold fluids in the blood. With less protein, the fluids can move to other parts of
the body and cause a type of swelling called edema,
usually in the face, abdomen, arms, and legs. This can be accompanied by unintentional
Nephrotic syndrome isn't a disease and doesn't cause pain, but it can be a sign
of kidney problems that may require treatment.
For most younger kids, nephrotic syndrome is caused by a condition called minimal
change disease. Other common causes in teens and adults include cancer, diabetes,
and diseases and disorders of the kidney. Treatment for nephrotic syndrome involves
treating the condition affecting the glomeruli.
Keep in Mind
Medication can effectively treat many causes of nephrotic syndrome, including minimal
change disease. Most kids whose nephrotic syndrome is due to minimal change disease
will eventually outgrow the condition during their teens.
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