Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome can be primary, due to changes specific to the kidneys or secondary, where kidneys are damaged due to any general or systemic illnesses.
Primary Nephrotic Syndrome is owing to disease which is limited to the kidney. Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome of primary type are:
- Minimal change disease: It is one of the commonest causes of Nephrotic Syndrome especially in children. The pathology in the kidneys is minimal compared to symptoms, hence the name.
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: It is one of the commonest causes of Nephrotic Syndrome in adults. There is tissue scarring of parts of some glomeruli.
- Membranous glomerulonephritis: Probably due to an auto-immune mechanism, there is inflammation of the glomerular membrane causing increased leaking in the kidneys.
- Mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis: Along with inflammation, there is deposit of antibodies in glomeruli causing difficulties in filtration.
- Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis: Glomeruli become crescent-shaped causing rapid loss of kidney functions.
Secondary Nephrotic Syndrome is due to a general or systemic disease that affects the kidney and other parts of the body.
- Diabetic nephropathy: It is a complication of Diabetes where excess blood sugar accumulates in the kidneys, causing inflammation, thus reduces their function.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: An autoimmune disease which affects multiple organs including kidneys.
- Conventional medicines: Long term use of Penicillin, NSAIDs, Gold, etc. have resulted in many cases of Nephrotic Syndrome.
- Other causes of Nephrotic Syndrome of secondary type include Sarcoidosis, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, HIV, multiple myeloma, cancers, etc.