What is Lupus Nephritis?

How your kidney doctors in Des Moines, IA, can help if with lupus nephritis

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and lupus nephritis is a type of kidney disease associated with lupus. Lupus nephritis is a condition typically requiring the services of a specialist, a nephrologist, or kidney doctor.

The kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians provide comprehensive kidney treatments, including diagnosis and treatment of lupus nephritis. They have several convenient office locations in Des Moines, IA, to help you.

Lupus causes the immune system to produce autoantibodies which attack the tissues and organs, including the kidneys, causing lupus nephritis.

These autoantibodies attack the structures which filter out waste. The kidneys become inflamed, which can cause blood and proteins in urine. Lupus nephritis can lead to poor kidney function and kidney failure.

There are signs and symptoms of lupus nephritis to pay attention to, including:

  • Foamy urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
  • High blood pressure

Lupus nephritis is diagnosed with blood and urine tests to measure kidney function, and a kidney biopsy to determine the severity of disease.

The goals in treating lupus nephritis are to:

  • Reduce or eliminate symptoms
  • Stabilize the disease so it doesn’t get worse
  • Maintain remission of the disease
  • Avoid the need for kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant

Your kidney doctor may recommend:

  • Dietary changes to limit protein and salt
  • Blood pressure medications to prevent protein leaking from the kidneys into the urine

Medications to slow or stop the immune system from attacking the kidneys. These medications may include:

  • Steroids
  • Cyclosporine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Azathioprine
  • Mycophenolate
  • Rituximab
  • Belimumab

Your kidney doctor can treat lupus nephritis and help you maintain kidney function for as long as possible.

To find out more about diagnosis and treatment of lupus nephritis, call the kidney doctors at Iowa Kidney Physicians in Des Moines, IA. You can reach them in Methodist Plaza at (515) 336-6557, or in Riverpoint at (515) 243-3161, so call today.