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Does Protein in Urine in Lupus Indicate Kidney Problem

Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2013-05-30 14:11

Q:I am 20 years old and was diagnosed with lupus a few months ago. Recently, a urinalysis found protein in my urine and I want to know what's going on.Does protein in urine in lupus indicate kidney problem?

A:It just means that the lupus is affecting your kidneys now.Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect almost any part of your body, most often your joints,skin,kidneys,heart,lung,blood,or brain.About one-third to one-half of lupus patients develop Lupus Nephritis within the first six months to three years of their lupus diagnosis.

How does protein in urine occur in lupus?Lupus nephritis refers to inflammation of the nephrons, the structures within the kidneys that filter the blood and meanwhile they can sustain useful substances in blood including red blood cells and protein.

However,if left untreated,lupus nephritis can lead to scarring and permanent damage to the kidneys.When the filters are impaired, a large amount of proteins will leak into urine. Meanwhile, abnormal levels of waste can build up in the blood and edema can develop around the eyes, legs, ankles and fingers.Eventually,you may develop end stage renal disease (ESRD).

How to manage protein in urine in lupus? Protein in urine is a major accelerator of renal function deterioration.Therefore,it is important to manage it effectively.

Prednisone and other corticosteroids are generally prescribed to stop the inflammation of glomeruli within kidneys. Immunosuppressive drugs may also be used.These medicines can bring about a temporary remission of protein in urine and slow the disease progression.However,it can cause a large number of side effects.Also,the patients can experience frequent relapses of the condition.

As mentioned above,lupus nephritis and protein in urine results from inflammation of glomeruli and impaired glomerular structure. To control protein in urine and kidney damage effectively, the principle goal of treatment is to control inflammatory response and restore the impaired structure of filters. If these goals of treatment can be achieved, the renal function will be improved significantly and the associated symptoms of lupus nephritis will be controlled completely. On this point, Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy is an effective treatment for lupus nephritis.

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