Nephrotic Syndrome

What is it?

According to wikipedia.com, Nephrology is the branch of internal medicine dealing with the study of the function and diseases of the kidney.

Yesterday morning, I received an early call from one of my clients. He told me that he was at the Pantai Medical Centre in Bangsar & was doing a dengue serology test for his 6 year old son. He had been down with fever for more than two days & his face was turning blue.

As the doctor expected, the dengue turned out to be negative but that was not the end of the story. According to the doctor, the symptoms which this child had showed signs of the Child Nephrotic Syndrome which if not given immediate medical attention could lead to the failure of the kidneys.

You might be asking, “What do the kidneys do?”

Well, the kidneys are 2 fist-sized organs found in the lower back. When they are functioning properly, they clean the blood in the human body & get rid of waste products, excess salt & water.

So, what then is the “nephrotic syndrome?”

This is an illness where the kidney loses protein in the urine OR your urine has too much protein content in it. This eventually causes protein in the blood to drop, and water moves into body tissues, causing swelling (edema) – so in my clients case it was a swelling in the face. On other children, there might be swelling around the eyes, in the belly or in the legs. Apart from that, the body will retain water (because it temporarily does not have an exit out of the body) and this in turn causes a gain in body weight.

So, my client was warded for further tests & treatment. Based on the news I received today, he is getting better & the fever has begun to subside. However, he was not warded at Pantai yesterday since the only available Pediatric Nephrologyst at the time was in Subang Jaya Medical Centre. That is where he is now.

I wish him well & I do hope this small bit of info will be useful should you come accross a similar situation in the future.

For additional reference, kindly click on these links :

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/nephrotic_syndrom/index.htm

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/conditions/a/nephrotic_synd.htm

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