Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Nephrotic Syndrome

Font Size


Many people who have nephrotic syndrome do not have any noticeable physical symptoms. When symptoms are present, they can include:

  • Swelling in the tissues around the eyes (periorbital edema) or in the feet or ankles (peripheral edema). This is the most common early symptom of nephrotic syndrome in both children and adults.
  • Shortness of breath caused by fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
    • Adults older than 65 may be misdiagnosed with heart failure.
    • Children are often thought to have allergies.
  • Dry skin.
  • Swelling of the scrotum (scrotal edema), which may cause a cord in the testicles to twist (testicular torsion).

Signs of nephrotic syndrome in blood and urine tests can include:

Recommended Related to Kidney Disorders


Glomerulosclerosis refers to scarring or hardening of the glomeruli -- blood vessels located in the kidneys. The glomeruli filter the blood as it passes through the kidneys. They remove waste fluids that then leave the body as urine. Damaged glomeruli can't perform their job adequately. As a result, large amounts of protein from the blood leak into the urine rather than remaining in the bloodstream. This leads to a condition called proteinuria. Glomerulosclerosis can affect children and adults...

Read the Glomerulosclerosis article > >

  • Protein in the urine (proteinuria).
  • Low protein (albumin) in the blood.
  • High cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Low blood levels of iron and vitamin D.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 17, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.