Treating IgA Nephropathy

If you notice blood in your urine, your urine is foamy, you’ve suddenly started to see swelling in your hands and feet, or you’re experiencing high blood pressure, you might be suffering from IgA Nephropathy.  This disease is one that attacks your kidneys and can cause you a lot of pain and eventual kidney failure.  Currently, there isn’t any cure for this disease, but there are various IgA Nephropathy treatment options you can use to help keep this disease under control.  Many people have lived a long time with IgA Nephropathy, but you need a diagnosis and a plan to be one of those many.

Diagnosis for Treatment

You might notice a difference if you see blood in your urine.  Your doctor can perform a series of tests to detect whether you have IgA Nephropathy and need treatment or there’s something else going on.  The tests your doctor might perform include:

  • Urine Tests – This is one of the first signs of IgA Nephropathy and it might be discovered during a routine checkup.  If your doctor suspects this as your issue, you might be asked to collect your urine over the next 23 hours for further evaluation.
  • Blood Tests – A blood test could show you have increased levels of blood in the waste that you produce.
  • Kidney Biopsy – This is truly the only way for your doctor to confirm a diagnosis of IgA Nephropathy and begin a treatment plan.  This test involves a special biopsy needle to extract small pieces of kidney tissue for microscopic examination.
  • Iothalamate Clearance Test – This test uses a special contrast agent to track how well your kidneys are filtering waste.

Using these different tests, your doctor can give you a good diagnosis and begin to create a plan of IgA Nephropathy treatment if you have this disease.

The Treatment Plan

How do you treat a disease that has no cure?  While your doctor can’t give you a cure for IgA Nephropathy, they can offer you a course of action that can slow the disease and eventually lead to remission for you.  Some people require only monitoring to make sure the disease isn’t getting worse while others will need a transplant and could experience end-stage kidney failure.

Some medications used for IgA Nephropathy treatment are:

  • High blood pressure medications – Taking ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers can lower the blood pressure and reduce the loss of protein.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – These fats which are found in fish oil supplements might reduce inflammation in the glomeruli without harmful side effects.
  • Immunosuppressants – Various immunosuppressants have been found effective to keep your immune system from attacking your glomeruli.  These drugs can have serious side effects and need to only be used if prescribed by your doctor.
  • Statin Therapy – If you have high cholesterol, having medicine that can lower it can help control it and slow the progression of kidney damage.
  • Diuretics – These items help remove extra fluid from your blood and improve your blood pressure.

Consult your doctor for the proper IgA Nephropathy treatment plan.