IgA nephropathy is a kidney disorder that occurs when IgA—a protein that helps the body fight infections—settles in the kidneys. After many years, the IgA deposits may cause the kidneys to leak blood and sometimes protein in the urine.
Patients with IgA nephropathy who have little or no proteinuria (less than 500 to 1000 mg/day) have a low risk of progression, at least in the short term. However, proteinuria and renal insufficiency develop in a substantial proportion of patients over the long term.
Often, there are no symptoms of IgA nephropathy in the early stages of the disease. Later stage symptoms may include:
Blood and protein in the urine
Swelling of the hands and feet
Repeated upper respiratory infections
High blood pressure
People who develop kidney failure as a result of IgA nephropathy may need to have dialysis . Dialysis is a treatment that performs the functions of natural kidneys when they fail.