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Main > Kidney Disease > IGA Nephropathy
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Basic knowledge of IgA Nephropathy

IgA Nephropathy (IgAN), also called Berger's Disease, is a kidney disorder that attacks when IgA—a protein is supposed to help the body fight against infections—lodges in kidneys instead. The IgA deposition in the kidneys hampers kidneys' ability to filter waste, excess water and electrolytes from blood. Over time, blood and protein in urine develop as a result of this disease.

Who is at high risk of suffering from IgA Nephropathy? Those with:

Family history—people with a family history or Henoch Schonlein purpura are at high risk of developing this disease. This disease could run in families, meaning genetic factors contribute too.

Certain ethnicity—Caucasians and Asians are at high risk of Berger's Disease, other ethnicities also develop IgAN but with a lower morbidity.

Gender—the disease usually develops in male rather than female.

Age—normally, IgA Nephropathy attacks in all ages of a person, but often affects males in their teens to late 30s.

No clear cause accounts for this disease, so it is hard to prevent it. For those with a family history, serious prevention should be done since it can be genetic. See all the risk factors above to determine if you are at high risk. Other than family history, healthy lifestyle is encouraged by us. Eating right and living healthy can help take care of your kidneys.

High blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol can be the culprits of IgA Nephropathy, so monitor and manage these levels are beneficial.

What should the patients expect?

It usually takes 10 to 20 years to show any signs or symptoms, meaning the disease progresses slowly and can be undetected over several years. Some of the patients do get a remission eventually, while others develop advanced kidney disease and may end with ESRD.

The prognosis of IgA Nephropathy depends on many other factors such as treatments, physical condition, age, blood pressure and gross albuminuria etc.