IgA Nephropathy, or Berger's disease is a disorder of the immune system affecting the kidneys and slowly destroying them in nearly 50% of the cases. Early and accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment by experts who specialize in IgAN can make an important difference.
The development of IgA Nephropathy may be linked to genetic defects in immune response or immune-complex clearance. However, they do not cause disease by themselves. Some type of antigen must be present in the body, such as bacterial (streptococcus), or viral (certain type of influenzas), or endogenous (produced by the body itself). Genetic predisposition, however, make some individuals more likely to get affected of IgAN upon exposure to certain antigens.
Persons with IgA Nephropathy rarely have a family history of kidney disease. Usually, there may be a personal or a family history of other immunologically-mediated disorders in like asthma, celiac-sprue, or psoriasis, especially if these have been treated with immunosuppressants as corticosteroids.
IgA Nephropathy affects both kidneys equally, and IgA antibodies stick in the kidneys and set off inflammation which damages the kidneys. With more and more immune response, the healthy body cells and tissues are mistakenly attacked. For patients with IgA Nephropathy, the filtering units of the kidneys-glomeruli are damaged. Over time, patients may present some clinical manifestations.
n the early stage of IgA Nephropathy, there are no obvious symptoms even if you are at risk of this disease. Factors may increase your risk of developing IgA Nephropathy include:
Age. IgA Nephropathy can affect people of all ages, including children. The peak incidence lies in the teens and 20s of people.
Gender. In North America and western Europe, IgA nephropathy affects at least twice as many men as it does women.
Ethnicity. IgA Nephropathy is more common in Caucasians and Asians than it is in blacks.
Family history. In some cases, IgA nephropathy seems to run in families, indicating that genetic factors may contribute to the disease.
The following steps may help reduce your chances of getting IgA Nephropathy:
● Have a good control of the blood pressure and cholesterol levels:
1. Arrange a reasonable diet, one that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains,vegetables and fruits.
2. Do proper physical activity regularly.
3. Keep a healthy weight, and lose weight if necessary.
4. Don't smoke and drink alcohol in moderation (no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women).
● Tell your doctor if you have a family history of IgA Nephropathy or other kinds of kidney disease, and then he can watch for signs for this disease.
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