IgA nephropathy is a kidney disease that causes the kidneys to become inflamed. IgA can eventually lead to blood and protein in the urine, high blood pressure, swollen hands and feet and other signs of chronic kidney disease.
In some cases IgA nephropathy can develop after a child or young adult has a viral infection of the upper respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts.
Signs and symptoms of IgA nephropathy when kidney function is impaired include:
Cola- or tea-colored urine (caused by red blood cells in the urine)
Repeated episodes of cola- or tea-colored urine, sometimes even visible blood in your urine, usually during or after an upper respiratory or other type of infection
Pain in the side(s) of your back below your ribs (flank)
Foam in the toilet water from protein in your urine
Swelling (edema) in your hands and feet
High blood pressure
To help keep your kidneys healthier:
Take steps to reduce your blood pressure. Keeping your blood pressure levels near normal may help slow kidney damage from IgA nephropathy. Your doctor may recommend healthy changes in your diet — including limiting your salt intake — losing excess weight, being physically active, using alcohol in moderation and remembering to take your blood pressure medications as ways to keep your blood pressure under control.
Monitor your blood pressure levels at home.
Eat less protein. Reducing the amount of protein you eat and taking steps to decrease your cholesterol levels may help slow the progression of IgA nephropathy and protect your kidneys.
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