IgA nephropathy is a disease caused by the reaction of the kidneys to IgA proteins.
When an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in your kidneys it can cause inflammation. Over time this can reduce your kidneys’ ability to filter waste from blood.
IgA nephropathy usually progresses slowly over years, but outcomes vary for different people. Some may experience blood in their urine without longer-term problems, some may be able resolve the issue while others go on to develop end-stage kidney failure.
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
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 per cent 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 and regular physical activity
- May use fish oil supplement
- If your kidney disease declines to end-stage kidney disease, you will need: dialysis treatment, kidney transplant and look in to no treatment/end of life care