Alternate Names : IgA Nephropathy, Berger's Nephropathy
What are the treatments for the disease?
Treatment of Berger's disease usually focuses on controlling high blood pressure and reducing protein loss in the urine. This is usually done with one of the blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors. Examples include enalapril and captopril. Fish oil and corticosteroids such as prednisone may help slow down the kidney damage in some cases.
Conditions that aggravate kidney failure, such as infections and obstructions, should be treated promptly. Dietary modifications are important as kidney failure progresses. Individuals should follow the diet prescribed by the healthcare provider, which generally focuses on limiting sodium, protein, and fluid.
A person who develops kidney failure will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
ACE inhibitor medications may cause cough, salt imbalances, and kidney problems in some cases. Fish oil capsules can cause burping and a fishy aftertaste. Corticosteroids can cause osteoporosis and an increased risk of infection.
Both dialysis and kidney transplant require surgery. All surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.
Dialysis has many possible side effects, including infection, salt imbalances, and even death. After a kidney transplant, the person must take powerful medications to prevent rejection. These medications can lead to infections and also may damage the new kidney.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
Treatment does not cure Berger's disease. Affected people, especially children, may go into remission and need no further treatment. Others will have occasional flare-ups of the disease, requiring closer monitoring and treatment. Kidney failure from Berger's disease is usually not reversible. A person with kidney failure usually needs treatment for life.
How is the disease monitored?
The healthcare provider will order regular kidney function tests and check the person's blood pressure periodically. The person can watch for blood in the urine at home. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.