Nurse Teachings on Nephrotic Syndrome

Nurse educated the patient and caregiver on the complications of nephrotic syndrome as follows:

  1. Glomeruli are the small blood vessels in the kidneys that filter excess fluid and wastes from the blood.
  2. Usually protein are bigger molecules and so, cannot pass through the glomeruli, to be filtered out.
  3. Proteins in the blood usually draw extra water from the body into the blood stream. This extra water in the blood stream can be eliminated by the kidneys into the urine.
  4. Nephrotic syndrome is a condition of the kidney in which the glomeruli are damaged.
  5. As the glomeruli are damaged, bigger molecules of protein are filtered out by the glomeruli, into the urine and all this protein is excreted.
  6. As the protein content in the blood decreases, the capacity to draw extra water from the body into the blood stream also decreases. So, less fluid is eliminated by the kidneys and more of it is retained in the body, resulting in edema.

Signs and Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome

  1. Proteinuria: Excretion of large amounts of protein in the urine, secondary to damage to the filtering apparatus, glomeruli.
  2. Hypoalbuminemia: Low protein levels in the blood, secondary to the excretion of protein in urine.
  3. Renal failure: Patients with nephrotic syndrome have a gradual decline in kidney function, if it is not managed properly. When the kidney function diminishes significantly, patients can present with increasing retention of fluid and wastes, anemia, increasing shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue.
  4. Edema: As the protein content in the blood decreases, the capacity to maintain fluid in circulation also decreases and more fluid is retained out of circulation, in the spaces between the tissues.
  5. Hyperlipidemia: Elevated levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood.
  6. Fatigue and weight gain: Secondary to fluid retention and fluid overload.
  7. Foamy urine: Secondary to increased protein excreted in the urine.