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IgA Nephropathy

IgA nephropathy is an autoimmune related kidney disorder that occurs when IgA (a protein that helps the body fight infections) settles in the kidneys. After many years, the IgA deposits may cause the kidneys to leak blood and sometimes protein in the urine.This leakage does not necessarily mean they will have long-term problems. If too much protein leaks into the urine, the hands and feet can swell. After 10 to 20 years with IgA nephropathy, the kidneys may show signs of damage. About 25 percent of adults with IgA nephropathy develop total kidney failure. Only 5 to 10 percent of children develop total kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure include swelling in the hands and feet, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and sleep problems. By the time these symptoms occur, total kidney failure is near. Total kidney failure means the kidney damage is permanent. People with kidney failure need dialysis or a kidney transplant. IgA nephropathy can occur at any age, even in childhood. More men are affected than women. Although found all over the world, IgA nephropathy is more common among Caucasians and Asians. It is one of the most common diseases of the kidney, other than those caused by diabetes or high blood pressure.

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