Alport syndrome is a genetic kidney disease that can cause chronic kidney disease, eye abnormalities, and hearing loss. It is most prominent in individuals whose family has a history of renal problems. The disease progresses and can eventually lead to the loss of kidney function. Most patients who suffer from the disorder also have blood in their urine, which further indicates a serious malfunctioning of the kidneys. The problems associated with Alport syndrome often coincide with other minor problems and infections. Once a diagnosis has been made, whether in childhood or early adulthood, it's important to screen other family members who may be affected. After diagnosis, several treatment options may be recommended by your physician.
There are no current treatments specific to Alport syndrome. Thus, the primary goal is to treat the symptoms in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease. Taking diuretics is typically one of the first courses of action. Diuretics naturally increase the level of fluid in the body, allowing the kidneys to flush out toxins and waste. In tablet form, they are essentially water pills. However, making small dietary changes to include foods that facilitate cleansing can also be effective. Watermelon, green tea, dandelion, parsley, ginger, onion, and garlic are just some examples patients can easily add to their diet to assist the system in flushing out fluids.
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Committing yourself to a limited sodium diet is another easy way to greatly reduce symptoms and slow the progression of Alport syndrome. Sodium plays a critical role in the functioning of all of the body's systems and, as such, it's presence needs to be carefully moderated. Many complications can arise from having too little or too much sodium in the blood. High sodium is known to increase blood pressure, which then puts extra strain on the kidneys and heart. Cutting down on salt is a sure-fire way to reduce bloating and take proper care of the kidneys, and it is especially necessary for those with a genetic predisposition to Alport syndrome and kidney disease.
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No matter what type of disease or disorder a person may be afflicted with, it's important to take control of their health to whatever extent they can. The most simple way of doing this is practicing consistent symptom monitoring. Because Alport's syndrome is so closely tied with more serious, often life-threatening conditions like chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular complications, it is particularly important for patients to be on the lookout for symptoms, attend regular check-ups with a physician, and be completely honest about how they have been feeling. Seeing urine in the blood should immediately alert a patient the issue has progressed, and they should meet with a doctor immediately.
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When Alport syndrome has progressed or if other conditions have developed alongside it, doctors may recommend a kidney transplant. Because this involves major surgery and requires a donor with a healthy kidney, this treatment option is typically withheld until all other treatments have proven to be ineffective. After being matched with a suitable donor and undergoing the transplant surgery, patients may feel soreness around the abdomen. However, other symptoms associated with Alport syndrome, such as grayness of the skin, reportedly improve, and, when successful, kidney transplantation has been shown to greatly improve the quality of life of those suffering from Alport Syndrome.