Nephrotic Syndrome


Nephrotic Syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms characterized by dysfunction in the part of the kidney that filters blood (glomeruli). Nephrotic Syndrome can be diagnosed with a urine test.

Common Symptoms:

Protein in the urine, which can be foamy (proteinuria)

Low levels of protein in the blood (hypoalbuminemia)

Swelling in parts of the body, most noticeable around the eyes, hands, feet, and abdomen (edema)

Weight gain due to extra fluid building up in your body

Can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and high fat levels in the blood (high cholesterol)

Fast Facts

FSGS causes Nephrotic Syndrome in adults more frequently than in children and is most prevalent in adults 45 years or older.

Minimal Change Disease is the most common cause of Nephrotic Syndrome in children, associated with 80% of cases.

In the United States, adult incidence of primary Nephrotic Syndrome each year is 3 out of every 100,000 individuals.

2-4 out of every 100,000 children are diagnosed with primary Nephrotic Syndrome each year in North America.

Some of the diseases that cause Nephrotic Syndrome include Minimal Change Disease, FSGS, and Membranous Nephropathy. These diseases are called “idiopathic” because they occur without a known cause.

Although primary Nephrotic Syndrome is a rare disease, anyone can get it. In fact, it’s one of the most common contributors of Chronic Kidney Disease in children.

Remission means there is currently
no protein spilling into the urine.

Each Nephrotic Syndrome patient follows a unique journey.

Males are more likely to have Nephrotic Syndrome than females.

Nephrotic Syndrome is often misdiagnosed as allergies.

Conditions that occur in other parts of the body can cause secondary Nephrotic Syndrome. These conditions include diabetes, cancer, lupus, amyloidosis, infection, drug use, allergies, and vasculitis.

Treating Your Disease

Short-Term Goals

The short-term goal of treatment is to stop protein spillage completely (remission) or lower the amount of protein lost in the urine as much as possible.

Long-Term Goals

The long-term Goals of treatment include preventing relapses of protein in the urine and preventing the deterioration of kidney function.

There are currently very few FDA-approved treatment options for Nephrotic Syndrome. The standard first-line treatment for Nephrotic Syndrome is Prednisone, a corticosteroid.

How to Live With Your Disease


Following a low fat, low sodium diet will help improve your kidneys’ function and your Nephrotic Syndrome symptoms.


Finding a nephrologist that specializes in Nephrotic Syndrome is very important to your long-term health.


Learn about your disease, treatment options, and clinical trials in order to better advocate for yourself.


NephCure Kidney International can help you connect with other patients and find support to manage your disease.


Get help coping with the challenges of living with FSGS through support groups like NephCure. Learn more about our how we can support you.


Eat a diet low in salt and processed foods to manage your blood pressure and reduce strain on your kidneys. Learn more about a kidney-friendly diet and get our cookbook.

Related Resources


Plant-Based Diet and Kidney Disease


Mental Health Patient and Caregiver Panel


Newly Diagnosed Parents – Nephrotic Syndrome 101

Educational Materials

School Accomodations


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