Lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease that can occur in people with lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues. Lupus nephritis can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure if not treated.
In the early stages of lupus nephritis, there may be no symptoms. As the disease progresses, people with lupus nephritis may experience the following symptoms:
- Protein in the urine
- High blood pressure
- Swelling in the legs and feet
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
Lupus nephritis is diagnosed with a blood test and a urine test. A kidney biopsy may also be performed to get a better understanding of the damage to the kidneys.
There is no cure for lupus nephritis, but there are treatments that can help slow the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms. Treatment options include:
- Medications to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation
- Blood pressure medication
- Medication to reduce protein in the urine
- Dialysis or kidney transplantation for people in kidney failure
In addition to the treatments listed above, there are things you can do to help manage lupus nephritis and live a healthy life:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- See your doctor regularly for checkups.
If you have lupus nephritis, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you and your family cope with the disease.
Here are some additional tips for managing lupus nephritis:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Protect yourself from infection by washing your hands frequently and avoiding crowds.
- Learn about lupus nephritis and its treatment options so that you can make informed decisions about your care.
Lupus nephritis is a serious disease, but it is important to stay positive and hopeful. With proper treatment and management, many people with lupus nephritis can live long and healthy lives.