Nephrotic syndrome is a group of changes affecting the kidneys. These may involve:
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Tiny tubules inside the kidneys filter wastes from the blood and make urine. If they aren’t working well, wastes and fluids build up in the body.
The most common cause in children is minimal change disease. Other kidney diseases can also cause this syndrome.
Causes from other health problems can also harm the kidneys. This may be from an infection or a blood disorder.
Certain genes that run in families can also cause nephrotic syndrome.
Your child's chances are higher if they:
If your child has problems, you may notice:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. They may also have:
Your child may be referred to a specialist for care.
In most children, nephrotic syndrome goes away on its own without long term harm. If your child has a health condition that is causing these problems, it will need to be treated.
In some children, the first time they need care, it may be in a hospital. Care may involve IV medicines.
Your child may have times when the syndrome does not cause problems. There may be other times when there is a relapse and symptoms are more active.
Care may involve:
Certain changes to the diet will help ease problems such as swelling. You may have to limit salt, fats, cholesterol, and fluids in your child’s diet.
Care may involve medicines to manage:
If your child’s medicines are causing harm to the kidneys, their doctor will change them.
There are no steps to prevent nephrotic syndrome.
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Childhood nephrotic syndrome. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/children/childhood-nephrotic-syndrome. Updated September 2014. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Childhood nephrotic syndrome. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/childns. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Nephrotic syndrome. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/nephrotic-syndrome.html. Updated March 2014. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Nephrotic syndrome in children. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/nephrotic-syndrome-children. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Nephrotic syndrome in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900359/Nephrotic-syndrome-in-children. Updated December 8, 2017. Accessed June 7, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 6/7/2018