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What Happens When Lupus Attacks The Kidneys

Who Gets Lupus Nephritis

How Lupus Affects Your Kidneys

Only adults and children with lupus can develop lupus nephritis. Youre more likely to get lupus if you:

  • Are a woman between the ages of 15 and 44, though men are more likely to develop lupus nephritis.
  • Are of Black, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islander or of Asian descent.
  • Come in contact with certain infections, viruses, toxic chemicals or pollutants in the environment.
  • Have a family history of the disease.
  • Have another autoimmune disease.

Is There A Treatment For Lupus Kidney Failure

If the kidneys no longer work, a procedure called dialysis usually is needed. With dialysis, a connection is made from a persons blood vessels to a machine for several hours two or three times a week, so that the machine can clean the blooda job that the kidneys normally do. Sometimes a kidney from another person is a choice for treating kidney failure.

How Long Do Hemodialysis Treatments Last

The time needed for your dialysis depends on:

  • how well your kidneys work
  • how much fluid weight you gain between treatments
  • how much waste you have in your body
  • how big you are
  • the type of artificial kidney used

Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.

A type of hemodialysis called high-flux dialysis may take less time. You can speak to your doctor to see if this is an appropriate treatment for you.

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How Does Peritoneal Dialysis Work

It uses the lining of your belly to filter your blood. A few weeks before you start treatment, a catheter is placed near your navel. Once the area heals, youâll be trained on how to do PD since youâll be doing it yourself.

Youâll use the catheter to transfer dialysis solution from a bag into your belly. This special fluid contains water with salt and other additives. It soaks up waste and extra fluids inside your body. After a few hours, youâll drain it out into a separate bag. This process is called an âexchange.â

There are two kinds of PD:

Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis : This uses a machine to do your exchanges.

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis : Youâll do your exchanges by hand.

Youâll likely do four to six exchanges each day. Your doctor can help you decide which type fits your lifestyle. Some people do both.

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Will There Be A Cure For Lupus Kidney Disease

Kidney Symptoms Worse At Night

Thankfully, because more and more people know about lupus, it is easier to get a diagnosis and to start the necessary treatment. With quick and early diagnosis, important organs such as the kidneys are less likely to get severely damaged.

The prognosis of lupus is better today than it was many years ago. Scientists and doctors are doing research on the many complications of lupus to find drugs that will work better and cause fewer side effects.


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What Happens If My Kidneys Fail

If your kidneys fail, you can be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. Lupus patients do as well with these treatments as people who have other types of kidney disease.

Many patients with lupus nephritis have received a kidney transplant. The drugs used to prevent your body from rejecting the new kidney are the same or similar to those used to treat lupus. It is unusual for lupus to come back in the new kidney. Lupus patients with new kidneys do as well as any other patients with transplanted kidneys.

Where Can I Get More Information About Lupus Nephritis

Lupus Foundation of America:

Lupus Research Alliance:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:

Us in Lupus :

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Is Research Being Done On Goodpasture’s Syndrome

Yes. Currently, there is much interest in learning what causes the harmful antibodies. This work may lead to new drugs that are more helpful.

Research is being conducted to discover genetic factors that are important in the disease. Also, researchers are searching for better ways to treat the bleeding that happens in the diseased lungs.

Date Reviewed: July 2009

What Is Lupus Nephritis

What is Lupus? Disease causes immune system to attack its own tissues

Lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease caused by systemic lupus erythematosus . Lupus is an autoimmune diseasea disorder in which the bodys immune system attacks the bodys own cells and organs. Kidney disease caused by lupus may get worse over time and lead to kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.

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What Should I Eat If I Have Lupus Nephritis

If you have kidney disease, you may need to change what you eat. Dietitians are nutrition experts who can advise you about healthy eating and meal planning. Find a registered dietitian who can help you. Eating the right foods can help you manage your kidney disease. If you have high blood pressure, eating foods with less sodium may help you lower your blood pressure.

What Causes Kidney Failure

In most cases, kidney failure is caused by other health problems that have done permanent damage to your kidneys little by little, over time.

When your kidneys are damaged, they may not work as well as they should. If the damage to your kidneys continues to get worse and your kidneys are less and less able to do their job, you have chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is why kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD for short.

Diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of ESRD. Other problems that can cause kidney failure include:

Sometimes the kidneys can stop working very suddenly . This type of kidney failure is called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. Common causes of acute renal failure include:

  • Heart attack
  • Illegal drug use and drug abuse
  • Not enough blood flowing to the kidneys
  • Urinary tract problems

This type of kidney failure is not always permanent. Your kidneys may go back to normal or almost normal with treatment and if you do not have other serious health problems.

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Stages Of Lupus Nephritis

After diagnosis, your doctor will determine the severity of your kidney damage.

The World Health Organization developed a system to classify the five different stages of lupus nephritis in 1964. Newer classification levels were established in 2003 by the International Society of Nephrology and the Renal Pathology Society. The new classification eliminated the original class I that had no evidence of disease and added a sixth class:

  • Class I: Minimal mesangial lupus nephritis
  • Class II: Mesangial proliferative lupus nephritis
  • Class III: Focal lupus nephritis
  • Class IV: Diffuse lupus nephritis
  • Class V: Membranous lupus nephritis
  • Class VI: Advanced sclerosis lupus nephritis

Theres no cure for lupus nephritis. The goal of treatment is to keep the problem from getting worse. Stopping kidney damage early can prevent the need for a kidney transplant.

Treatment can also provide relief from lupus symptoms.

Common treatments include:

  • minimizing your intake of protein and salt
  • taking blood pressure medication
  • using steroids such as prednisone to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • taking medicines to suppress your immune system such as cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate-mofetil

Special consideration is given to children or women who are pregnant.

Extensive kidney damage may require additional treatment.

What Can I Do To Make Sure I Am Getting The Treatment I Deserve If I Have Lupus Nephritis

The Effects of Lupus on the Body  Schoen Med

Navigating your care can be overwhelming when you have lupus nephritis. Even if you have not been diagnosed, trying to figure out the cause of your symptoms can be challenging too. With so many specialists, appointments, and tests, there can be a lot of information for you and your doctors to keep up with.

Get the most out of your visits with these tips:

  • Keep records of your symptoms, tests, and test results so you can share them with your doctors in detail.
  • Write down questions you have for your doctor and bring the questions to your next visit.
  • Carry a notepad to take notes on what your doctor tells you during your visits.
  • Ask for handouts or suggestions for where you can go for more information.
  • Ask your nurse to talk to your doctor on your behalf.
  • If English is not your preferred language, ask for an interpreter or bring an English-speaking family member to your visits.

Even though doctors have limited time with patients, it is important that they listen carefully to your concerns and clearly answer questions you have. You should feel comfortable asking questions, because that will help you make shared, informed decisions about your care. Remember, you are your own best advocate! No one knows your body as well as you do. If you feel like a doctor is not taking your concerns seriously or you are uncertain about something they said, you have the right to get a second opinion from another doctor.

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How Long Youll Need To Be On Dialysis

If you choose to go on dialysis, it usually is performed for the rest of your life up until the point you receive a transplant. If you decide dialysis isnt the right option for you, you may elect for comprehensive conservative care.

While youre on dialysis, its an ongoing process, and its important that you dont miss a session. This may mean that you have to make adjustments to your work and home life, although there are home treatments available.

What Is The Common Cause Of Lupus

Lupus has no known cause however, because it is an autoimmune disorder, a combination of genetic and environmental factors contributes to the formation of antibodies that cause lupus.

People who have an inherited proclivity for lupus may develop the disease if they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus.

In most cases, the cause of lupus is unknown however, potential triggers include:

  • Sun exposure may cause lupus skin lesions or elicit an internal response in people who are predisposed to it.
  • Infections can trigger immune dysregulation that manifests as lupus or cause a relapse in some people.
  • Certain blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antibiotics can trigger lupus.
  • When people with drug-induced lupus stop taking the medication, they usually get better.
  • In rare cases, symptoms may persist even after the drug has been discontinued.

Factors that may increase your risk of lupus include:

  • Female sex
  • Age between 15 and 45 years
  • African American, Hispanic, and Asian American ethnicities

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What Resources Are Available That Can Help People Cope With Having Lupus Nephritis

A lupus diagnosis can come as a shock to many people. It is a disease that many people do not know much about. Getting the right diagnosis is the first step to getting the care you need. Because lupus is a lifelong disease, it can impact your daily routine in different ways for the rest of your life. Physical symptoms, frequent doctor visits, and financial stress can all impact your emotional well-being. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health if you are living with lupus or lupus nephritis.

Find healthy ways to copeIt is normal to have stress, anxiety and depression when facing difficult situations. If you notice changes to your mental health, these activities may help you feel better:

  • Meditate
  • Engage in positive self-talk
  • Exercise
  • Spend more time outdoors in the sun
  • Explore creative activities
  • Get enough sleep
  • Tap into your faith

Talk to a professionalIf you want to talk to a professional, ask a member of your treatment team for a referral to a mental health therapist, counselor, or a social worker.

These professionals are trained to help you:

  • Understand and process your emotions
  • Improve your coping skills
  • Maintain healthy relationships with loved ones
  • Navigate everyday life with chronic disease
  • Advocate for your needs

Many health insurance providers cover mental health services. Call your health insurance provider to find out what your health insurance plan includes and get a list of in-network mental health providers in your area.

The Doctor Says I Have Lupus Kidney Disease But I Dont Feel Anything Different

Lupus and Kidney Disease

Some people with lupus kidney disease have pain in their side, darker urine than usual, weight gain , and swelling around the eyes, hands, or feet. But it sounds like you are one of many people with this problem who does not notice anything unusual. Thats normal, and its OKand one of the reasons why its so important to see a doctor regularly if you have lupus.

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Risks Associated With Hemodialysis

If you continue to have these symptoms while on dialysis, tell the healthcare provider performing the treatment.

Those who undergo long-term dialysis treatments are also at risk of developing other medical conditions, including amyloidosis. This disease can occur when amyloid proteins produced in bone marrow build up in organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart. This usually causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Some people may also develop depression after receiving a diagnosis of long-term kidney failure. If youre having thoughts associated with depression, such as thoughts of harming yourself or committing suicide, call 911 or your local emergency services. The National Alliance on Mental Illness can also provide you with resources if youre dealing with depression and a chronic condition.

Does Dialysis Replace The Kidneys

Dialysis helps patients whose kidneys have failed, but it is not as efficient as a normal kidney. Patients who receive dialysis need to be careful about what and how much they drink and eat, and they need to take medication.

Many people who have dialysis can work, lead normal lives, and travel, as long as dialysis treatment is possible at the destination.

Women who have dialysis normally have difficulty becoming pregnant. There will be a higher level of waste products in the body than there are with normal kidneys. This interferes with fertility.

Women who do become pregnant while on dialysis will probably need increased dialysis during the pregnancy. If a woman has a successful kidney transplant, her fertility should return to normal.

Dialysis has some effect on male fertility, but less than on female fertility.

Chronic kidney failure happens gradually. Even if just one kidney works, or both work partially, normal kidney function is still possible. It can be a long time before the symptoms of a kidney condition appear.

When symptoms do occur, they often vary between individuals, making it harder to diagnose kidney failure quickly.

Symptoms of kidney failure may include:

  • Water retention, leading to swollen feet, hands, and ankles
  • Blood in urine
  • Protein in urine

A sudden injury can cause kidney failure. When it does, symptoms tend to appear faster and progress more rapidly.

People who depend on kidney dialysis may experience:

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How Can Lupus Affect The Kidneys

Lupus nephritis is a term for kidney disease that occurs in lupus patients. With this disease, the tiny filters in the kidneys are damaged resulting in a loss of kidney function. This may lead to fluid accumulation and swelling of the body, called edema. Other signs of lupus nephritis include:

  • Blood in urine, your urine may look pink or light brown from blood
  • Protein in urine, your urine may be foamy because of the protein
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain due to fluid retention
  • Some patients with lupus nephritis may develop kidney diseasethat could lead to renal failure

Take Steps To Protect Your Kidneys

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Making healthy food and beverage choices can help protect your kidneys and manage the symptoms of lupus nephritis and other kidney problems.

Try these steps:

  • Eat less sodium to help control your blood pressure and reduce swelling
  • Eat smaller portions of foods with a lot of protein, like meat and dairy
  • Cut back on foods with saturated fats, like butter and fatty meats
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol

If you have severe kidney problems, you may also need to limit the amount of fluid you drink or the amount of certain minerals in the foods you eat. Work with your doctors to make a plan thats right for you.

Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen, can cause kidney damage. If you have kidney problems, talk with your doctor about ways to treat your lupus-related inflammation without using NSAIDs.

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How Do I Adjust To Dialysis

Starting dialysis often means creating a new normal for yourself and your family. Thereâs a lot to think about, from choosing a treatment option, to finding new ways to enjoy your favorite activities, to managing a new diet. The FIRST30 program is all about helping you through this period of adjustment. Here, youâll find videos featuring people like you, who once were new to dialysis, as well as a checklist of important questions to ask your health care team.

How Does Lupus Affect The Kidneys

About one half of people with lupus experience kidney involvement, and the kidney has become the most extensively studied organ affected by lupus. The part of the kidney most frequently troubled by lupus is a part of the nephron called the glomerulus, a tuft of capillaries that functions to filter substances from of the blood. For this reason, the type of kidney inflammation most commonly experienced in lupus is called glomerulonephritis. Fortunately, the prognosis for patients experiencing kidney lupus is improving due to the growing number of medications that physicians have in their arsenal.

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