When you have IgA nephropathy, you’re at higher risk of
- High blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
- Facial tics
Since the disease affects your kidneys’ ability to filter blood, your blood pressure can go up. Medication that lowers blood pressure is commonly used to slow progression of IgA in people with proteinuria.
It’s possible for your IgA nephropathy to go away completely.
The disease acts differently in everyone. For some people – most commonly children – it can go away completely.
To monitor your kidney health, you need regular
- Kidney biopsies
- Urine and blood tests
The doctor will look for protein in your pee. They’ll also look at blood levels of creatinine and estimates of how well the kidneys filter blood, also known as a GFR. This helps them understand how well your kidneys are working. They’ll keep track of changes over time.
A good IgA diet should be
- High in protein
- Low in protein
You need some protein. But too much can overwork your kidneys. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can tell you a healthy daily amount for your body type and disease status.
The chances of getting end-stage renal disease (ESRD) when you have IgA nephropathy is
- 1 in 250
- 1 in 10
- 1 in 4
About 25% of people with IgA nephropathy get ESRD within 20 years of diagnosis.
A good way to keep tabs on your kidney health between doctor visits is
- At-home blood testing
- A symptom/activity diary
- Regular temperature checks
You can give your doctor a picture of your kidney health over time by tracking symptoms such as foamy or bloody pee, swelling, and pain. It’s important to note the ways in which your daily life is affected by these symptoms, too.
You shouldn’t exercise if you have IgA nephropathy because it boosts creatinine levels.
Exercise can acutely raise the level of creatinine in your blood, but it won’t hurt your kidneys. It’s a waste product that comes from the wear and tear of exercise on your muscles. Everyone has it. If you’re working out, be sure your doctor knows when they look at your lab results.
A kidney transplant will cure your IgA nephropathy.
Replacing your damaged kidney with a healthy donor kidney will help you live longer and have a better quality of life, but it won’t make your IgA nephropathy go away.
Your doctor may recommend you add this to your diet to help treat your disease.
- Fish oil supplements
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
Research shows omega-3 fatty acids may help slow kidney damage and ease inflammation.