Nondiabetic nephropathy

What is Nondiabetic Nephropathy?

Nondiabetic nephropathy is a type of kidney disorder that is not related to diabetes. It is a progressive disorder which causes damage to the kidney's tiny blood vessels. This eventually leads to a decrease in kidney function and can cause complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, and fluid retention. Generally, nondiabetic nephropathy is caused by inflammation, infection, and certain drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most common type of nondiabetic nephropathy is referred to as IgA nephropathy or Berger's Disease, which is caused by deposits of a particular type of antibody, Immunoglobulin A (IgA), in the kidney.

Symptoms of Nondiabetic Nephropathy

Many people may be asymptomatic when it comes to nondiabetic nephropathy, or they may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Low urine output
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention or swelling in the extremities
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itchy skin
  • Chest pain
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Foamy or cream-colored urine

Diagnosis of Nondiabetic Nephropathy

The diagnosis of nondiabetic nephropathy usually requires a combination of tests, including a physical exam and a review of the person's medical history, urine tests, imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT scan, and a kidney biopsy. In a kidney biopsy, a small sample of kidney tissue is taken and examined for the presence of IgA antibodies or other abnormalities.

Treatment of Nondiabetic Nephropathy

Treatment for nondiabetic nephropathy typically involves lifestyle changes and medications. Some lifestyle changes that may be recommended include quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption, following a healthy diet, and regular exercise. The goal of medical treatment is to either reduce symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. The type of medications prescribed depends on the individual's diagnosis, and may include angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), diuretics, and immunosuppressants.