How Can I Be Sure My Kidneys Are Not Affected by Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs. Once kidneys are involved, the lupus will cause inflammation of nephrons resulting in Lupus Nephritis.
However, not all patients with Lupus will develop Lupus Nephritis. According to some researches, about 40% of all people with lupus will develop Lupus Nephritis requiring medical evaluation and treatment. Also, Lupus Nephritis often develops latently and it may only show few symptoms in the early years of the disease. Therefore, to make sure whether your kidneys are affected, it is very important for you to have screening of kidney function regularly.
The screening tests mainly include blood test and urine test. The blood tests can show how well your kidneys are working and the urine test tell you if there is red blood cells or protein in urine. In some cases, the tests are normal. However, the normal tests do not prove that you do not have the chance of developing Lupus Nephritis later. In this case, you should repeat the tests at intervals of about 3~6 months. If the lupus is in the active period, the tests should be repeated more frequently, usually once in a month.
If there are red blood cells or protein in urine or the creatinine or blood urine nitrogen level is above the normal level, you should receive treatment as early as possible even if you do not have obvious abnormalities. If untreated, Lupus Nephritis can lead to scarring and permanent damage to the kidneys and even causing End Stage Renal Failure.
The conventional use of hormone and immunosuppressive agents can only relive the symptoms of Lupus Nephritis like proteinuria, hematuria etc and suppress the abnormal inflammation. However, it can not correct the abnormal immune system. Therefore, the conventional treatment of Lupus Nephritis can not achieve a favorable therapeutic effect at all.
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