IgA Nephropathy

What Is Iga Nephropathy or Berger's Disease?

IgA Nephropathy, also known as Berger's Disease, is a medical disorder of the kidney which occurs when the antibody immunoglobulin-A or IgA gets lodged in the kidneys and there is accumulation of it. This causes inflammation which over time disrupts the kidney's ability to filter waste products, excess water, and electrolytes from the blood. Damage to the kidney function can be found out by the presence of blood and protein in the urine along with hypertension and swelling of the lower extremities.

IgA Nephropathy or Berger’s Disease

How Is Iga Nephropathy or Berger's Disease Caused?

IgA or Immunoglobulin-A helps the body fight various infections. IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease develops when there is an excessive accumulation of IgA in the kidneys. It starts to build up inside the small blood vessels of kidneys as a result of which the glomeruli get inflamed and damaged. IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease can develop all of a sudden that is the acute form or gradually which is the chronic form.

Risk Factors of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease

Some of the Risk Factors for Iga Nephropathy or Berger's Disease Are:

  • Family history of someone suffering from IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease can be a contributing factor
  • Caucasian or Asian descent have more chances of suffering from IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease
  • IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease generally develops in individuals above the age of 30 and is predominant in the male population.

What Are The Symptoms Of IgA Nephropathy Or Berger's Disease?

In cases of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease, some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all for quite a number of years but in case of symptoms, they include the following:

  • Hematuria immediately after a respiratory illness
  • Frequent episodes of hematuria or blood in urine is a common symptom of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Symptoms of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease maybe similar to that of chronic kidney disease.

How Is IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease Diagnosed?

IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease usually is suspected when an individual with no other confirmed diagnosis of a kidney dysfunction continuously suffers from hematuria or blood in urine. There are no particular changes observed in a physical examination. Sometimes, there may be evidence of hypertension or swelling of the extremities.

Some of the tests to confirm the diagnosis of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease are:

  • Checking BUN and creatinine
  • Kidney Biopsy
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine immunoelectrophoresis.

What Are The Treatments For IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease?

The main aim of treatment for IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease is to prevent renal failure. Medications may be given for control of hypertension as this is the most important aspect of the treatment for IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease and delay progression of disease. Corticosteroids are medications that can also be given for treatment along with fish oil. Controlling swelling is also imperative and this can be done through restriction of salt and fluid intake. Protein should be used only in moderation in this condition. Dialysis is the ultimate treatment required for this condition.

What Is The Prognosis And Complications For IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease?

The prognosis of IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease is that it tends to worsen gradually and over time if the individual also has the following conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria
  • Increased levels of BUN and creatinine

Some Of The Complications Of Iga Nephropathy or Berger's Disease Are:

  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Chronic renal failure
  • End-stage renal disease.

Home Remedies For Iga Nephropathy Or Berger's Disease?

Some of the home remedies or lifestyle changes that can be tried to control IgA Nephropathy or Berger's Disease can be adequate control of blood pressure, which can be done by maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding foods which can be potentially risky and also avoiding alcohol and tobacco use. Reducing the amount of protein in the diet and maintaining adequate cholesterol levels is also imperative to protect the kidneys.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: November 1, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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