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Best Exercises/Activities For Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is a condition characterized by loss of the excess amount of protein through the kidneys. It affects both males and females at any age. But, its incidence is seen more in males than in females. Its causes are diseases such as FSGS, minimal change disease, diabetes, lupus, and many more. Its characteristic features involve a rise in protein levels in the urine, rise in cholesterol and fat in the blood with a reduction in protein levels in the blood. It can be managed with steroids, diet management and others discussed below.

Best Exercises/Activities For Nephrotic Syndrome

According to the US National Institute of health, exercise restriction or bed rest is not recommended for patients of nephrotic syndrome. There is no scientific evidence to prove the beneficial effect of exercises on nephrotic syndrome.(2)

But children are more prone to indulge themselves in physical activities such as jogging, walking, swimming, jumping, etc. These activities should be done in a mild or moderate pace. Mild physical activities or exercises are considered good for preventing the remission and relapses of this condition.(3)

Swimming is an aerobic exercise that can be considered the best activity for nephrotic syndrome. It is recommended that swimming should be done mild or moderate. Mild swimming has beneficial effects on nephrotic syndrome, especially in children and teenagers.(4)

Nephrotic syndrome is a medical condition marked by the leakage of protein in the urine. It is characterized by four main features-

  • Swelling in lower extremities and face
  • Increase in cholesterol in the blood
  • Increase in triglyceride levels(1)

Nephrotic syndrome is not a disease but it is usually caused by other diseases. It is caused by damage in the glomeruli. The diseases that can cause this condition are FSGS, minimal change disease, membranous nephropathy, renal vein thrombosis, diabetes, lupus, and amyloidosis. Some medicines like antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause this condition. It can affect anybody at any age. It is more common in children of age 2-6 years. It affects males more than females.(1)

Its symptoms involve swelling in the ankles, feet and around the eyes, foamy urine, weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue. It happens due to building up of fluid in the body. In children, its symptoms involve fever, diarrhea, bloody urine, and frequent infections.(1)

Nephrotic syndrome cannot be cured completely but it can be managed efficiently with steroids and other medication. The treatment of underlying cause improves the condition. If the kidneys do not work properly and damage in it remains progressive, then dialysis or kidney transplantation is recommended. Your physician will prescribe medications for lowering blood cholesterol, blood pressure, for excretion of much fluid from the blood and for prevention of formation of blood clots to avoid heart attack or stroke.(5)

Diet management plays an important part in the management of nephrotic syndrome. Lean sources of protein are recommended in this condition to avoid excess loss of protein and damage to the kidney. Salt intake is also limited to control the swelling in the body. Cholesterol and fat intake should also be limited. Zinc supplements also help in the improvement of the condition.(5)

In nephrotic syndrome, there is excess loss of protein in the urine. Exposure to excess heat or sunlight should be avoided. In addition to this, extracurricular activities of the patients with this condition should be limited or followed by frequent intervals of rest.(6)


Nephrotic syndrome is a medical condition that indicates the damage of the kidney. It leads to loss of proteins from the body through urine. Strenuous activities are avoided in this condition to prevent further loss. Mild swimming is the best activity for the condition as it is aerobic exercise. Physical activities should be limited and should be followed by frequent small intervals of rest.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 4, 2019

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