Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder which strikes thousands of people each year. It’s marked by inflammation throughout the body and some of the organs that can be most adversely effected are the kidneys. This happens when the small blood vessels responsible for filtering waste from the kidney, along with other tissues become inflamed and unable to perform their functions. This lupus-related complication is known as lupus nephritis and can ultimately lead to diminished kidney function, up to and including, kidney failure. Over time the kidneys can even become scarred from the constant inflammation and this is one of the most serious complications from lupus.
Lupus nephritis has been associated with noted celebrities like Selena Gomez and Nick Cannon, who have both been public about their struggles with the disease and how it’s effected their kidneys. Unfortunately, approximately 60% of those living with lupus will experience some degree of kidney disease at some point in their lives. Lupus nephritis specifically tends to develop during the first five years of lupus. It seems most common in lupus sufferers aged 20-40 years old.
Although there aren’t many overt signs of lupus nephritis, some symptoms you should definitely watch out for if you’re living with lupus include the following:
- Foamy or frothy urine which can be indicative of elevated protein in the urine.
- Blood in the urine
- Abnormal weight gain or swelling which can be indicative of edema, as fluids unable to be filtered out get trapped in legs, ankles and other parts of the body.
Although there is no cure for lupus, there are a variety of ways to manage it, and specifically to prevent it from doing further damage to the kidneys. Most doctors will prescribe corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, prednisone, diuretics and ACE inhibitors/ARBs or some combination thereof.
What many people don’t know, however, is that there are also natural remedies which can significantly help lupus and prevent kidney complications from happening.
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