IgA Nephropathy is also referred to as Berger's disease. It is marked by the build-up of IgA or immunoglobulin A in the kidneys, which leads to severe inflammation. IgA is a type of protein produced by the immune system that helps fight infections. In patients with IgA nephropathy, the protein accumulates in the kidneys and damages their filtering units, i.e. the glomeruli. Gradually, it leads to scarring and progresses to complete renal failure.
What causes IgA Nephropathy?
IgA Nephropathy is caused by the build-up of immunoglobulin A in the kidneys. It is not known why this happens; however, there are certain factors that may be linked to it. These are:
What are the symptoms of IgA Nephropathy?
A patient with IgA Nephropathy may not initially experience any sign or symptom; these tend to develop with time as the condition aggravates. The classic symptoms of the condition are hematuria, i.e. presence of blood in urine, and albuminuria, i.e. the increased amount of albumin in the urine.
As the condition progresses and leads to kidney failure, the patient may also experience the following:
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