Minimal change disease (MCD) is a rare kidney disorder that causes the kidneys to leak protein into the urine. This can lead to a condition called nephrotic syndrome, which is characterized by swelling, high cholesterol, and low blood protein levels.
Causes of MCD
The exact cause of MCD is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues. In MCD, the immune system attacks the glomeruli, which are the tiny filtering units in the kidneys.
Symptoms of MCD
The main symptom of MCD is protein in the urine. Other symptoms may include:
- Swelling, especially in the face, hands, and feet
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Low blood protein levels
- Foamy urine
Diagnosis of MCD
MCD is diagnosed with a number of tests, including:
- Urine tests to check for protein and other abnormalities
- Blood tests to check for kidney function, cholesterol levels, and protein levels
- Kidney biopsy to confirm the diagnosis
Treatment of MCD
The main treatment for MCD is corticosteroids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. Corticosteroids can help to reduce the inflammation in the glomeruli and stop the kidneys from leaking protein.
Other medications that may be used to treat MCD include:
- Diuretics to help reduce swelling
- Cholesterol-lowering medications
- Medications to prevent blood clots
Prognosis for MCD
The prognosis for MCD is generally good. Most people with MCD respond well to treatment and go into remission. However, some people may experience relapses. In rare cases, MCD can lead to kidney failure.
If you have MCD, it is important to work closely with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent serious complications and improve the long-term prognosis.