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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder which occurs when the immune system attacks one’s own healthy body cells in different areas. Lupus nephritis is a serious complication of SLE which results when the kidney cells get attacked by the immune system. Nearly 60% of the patients with SLE develop lupus nephritis. In this condition the kidneys become inflamed and cannot function efficiently.
The first symptom which is noticed in people with lupus nephritis is the swelling or edema in the feet, legs and ankles which can worsen with days. Sometimes there can be swelling in the face and hands. The other symptoms of lupus nephritis are similar to the other kidney diseases, which may include:
Both men and women of any age group can develop lupus nephritis. However, it is more common in women. Additionally, the below factors can increase the risk of lupus nephritis:
The doctor may recommend further tests based on the above mentioned symptoms. The following are the tests performed for the diagnosis of lupus nephritis.
The main goal of the treatment is to delay or prevent the worsening of the condition. However, lupus nephritis cannot be completely cured. Treatment helps in relieving the symptoms and prevents the need for kidney transplant. Treatment is based on the type of lupus nephritis and the patient’s overall health. The following are the treatment options for lupus nephritis.
If the kidney damage is severe, then additional treatment such as dialysis may be necessary. Dialysis is an artificial method of filtering the wastes from the body using a machine. In some patients, kidney transplant is the final option.
People with lupus nephritis have a risk of developing acute or chronic kidney failure and need dialysis or kidney transplant.
Taking prompt treatment for SLE helps to prevent lupus nephritis.
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