IgA (Immunoglobulin A) = The IgA protein, an antibody, is a normal part of the body’s immune system (the system that protects against disease).
Nephro = Kidney
Pathy = Disease
IgA nephropathy is a disease caused by the reaction of the kidneys to IgA proteins. Over a period of many years the filters become blocked and the kidneys may fail.
Who is at risk?
- A small percent of patients have a family or inherited risk (genetic factors)
How is IgA Nephropathy diagnosed?
- Urine test to look for blood in the urine
How are the kidneys affected?
- Over time 25 percent of kidney patients will progress where the filters become damaged and the kidneys may fail
What are the signs and symptoms of IgA Nephropathy?
- Foamy urine (caused by protein leaking from the tiny filters)
- Bloody, tea colored or cloudy urine
- Swelling around the eyes, hands or feet
- High blood pressure
How is IgA treated?
- Mild cases may recover with or without treatment
- Good blood pressure control: Healthy eating, Regular physical activity
- May use fish oil supplement
- If your kidney disease declines to end stage kidney disease you will need: Dialysis treatments, Kidney transplant, No treatment/End of Life Care
References: Mayo Clinic