What Is The Recovery Period For Lupus Nephritis?
The recovery period may vary on each patient depending on the stage of the lupus nephritis. There are currently several treatments that can only help to improve the symptoms. But it is harder to manage in an advanced stage because patients with lupus nephritis are more propense of getting certain types of cancer, heart problems, and blood vessel problems.
Lupus nephritis is the medical term for kidney inflammation and irritation that is originated by lupus, which is an autoimmune disease. These types of diseases make your immune system to attack its own healthy cells. When the immune system affects your kidneys, they get deteriorated, being the damage very serious. It is known that the gravest type of lupus nephritis is proliferative nephritis, which causes scarring on the aforementioned organs.
Only patients with systemic lupus erythematosus can have lupus nephritis. If you have lupus and you observe any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting a kidney health exam.
-Arterial hypertension (High blood pressure).
-Frothy or bubbly urine (a sign of protein in the urine).
-Swelling located in the legs, feet, ankles and occasionally hands and face.
If your doctor thinks that your lupus may be attacking your kidneys, you may be asked to have a urine test to look for blood or protein in your urine. Having these elements in your urine is a sign that your kidneys are not functioning correctly. Your doctor will also be interested in this urine test because it allows checking the amount of creatinine in your blood. Having an elevated level of creatinine in your blood also demonstrates that something is wrong with the kidneys.
If the aforementioned tests show an alteration, your doctor may request a kidney biopsy to look for signs of lupus nephritis.
The renal biopsy consists of the extraction of a fragment of tissue from a living organism with the aim of examining it later through the microscope with different stains and laboratory techniques.
The renal biopsy is performed by a needle puncture, in one of the kidneys, through the skin (percutaneous renal biopsy). Only in some exceptional cases it requires a small surgical intervention that involves making a small incision in the lumbar area, under anesthesia, and get a small fragment when visualizing the kidney.
In a percutaneous renal biopsy, the needle is guided by ultrasound in order to select the most suitable area of the kidney.
A doctor will examine the sample with a microscope to check for the presence of lupus nephritis.
Treatment for Lupus Nephritis
The treatment for lupus nephritis is aimed at avoiding more damage to the kidneys. Diagnosing and treating lupus nephritis in an early stage can help prevent severe damage. Lupus affects your kidneys by inducing the immune system to attack them. To avoid this event, your doctor may tell you to take a medicine called an immunosuppressant. This type of medicine debilitates your immune system so that it cannot injure your kidneys so much.
Your doctor may also prescribe you a medication to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). Two frequent types of blood pressure medications are ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers).
Having edema (swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues) can also increase your blood pressure and force your heart. If your body is edematous and your feet and ankles are swollen, your doctor may prescribe you a diuretic, also known as a water pill. This medicine is able to help your body throw off of some of the extra fluid it is holding on.
Lupus nephritis has the capacity of inflicting permanent kidney damage, which is called chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease that worsens and originates that the kidneys stop functioning is called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Between 1 and 3 out of 10 people with lupus nephritis in due course develop kidney failure/ESRD.