Lupus is an autoimmune disease where a patient’s immune system begins to attack their body. These attacks can appear anywhere in the body including the kidneys.
According to kidney.org, lupus nephritis is a chronic disease where inflammation appears in the blood vessels called glomeruli in the kidneys of lupus patients. The most common symptoms of lupus nephritis include blood in the urine; protein in the urine (which can make the urine foamy); swelling in the feet, ankles and legs; weight gain; and high blood pressure. Patients with lupus should undergo regular blood and urine tests to check for lupus nephritis.
Treatment of lupus nephritis includes medications such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, diuretics, and blood pressure drugs. Patients will also be advised to eat a diet low in sodium and protein. Without treatment, the kidney could become so damaged that the patient would need a kidney transplant.
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