Patients suffering from proteinuria associated with Nephrotic Syndrome now have another treatment option to consider. It’s called Acthar and it’s made by a company called Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Even though the product was approved by the FDA in 1952, recent research indicates that Acthar effectively reduces the loss of protein from the blood into urine in patients who have been diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome.
Acthar is designed to provide a prolonged release of the medication after it is injected. Acthar is not a steroid, but it does cause actions in your body in a manner similar to steroids. Acthar produces natural steroid hormones that are important in the control of blood pressure, glucose (sugar) metabolism, and immune responses such as inflammation (swelling).
Acthar also works to reduce the amount of protein in your kidneys to a more normal level. Studies have shown that Acthar has lowered proteinuria in patients who did not respond to steroids, suggesting that Acthar works differently in your kidneys than steroid therapy alone.
While Acthar is not appropriate for everyone, it certainly is an option worth discussing with your physician for acute situations.
Additional research has shown that acthar works best when combined with dietary changes. Along with your treatment regimen, a healthy lifestyle also helps improve your body’s urinary protein levels. A well-planned diet can help manage your proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome and also make up for any lost protein while ensuring proper caloric intake. Maintaining a healthy diet can also help control hypertension, edema, and high cholesterol levels.
Remember to always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Eating food that’s high in protein may contribute to further kidney problems or even failure. Try choosing lean sources of protein to prevent this situation from happening. Maintaining a low-protein diet can also help decrease your body’s urinary protein breakdown and may be more beneficial.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t completely remove protein from your diet. Dietary protein is full of nutritional benefits that your body needs, and it’s always important to maintain a well-balanced diet.
You may need to restrict your sodium intake to manage common symptoms of your condition, such as swelling (edema) and high blood pressure. Eating foods with high salt content and using table salt should be limited.
Sodium prevents your kidneys from removing phosphorus from the blood. High phosphorus levels in the blood can lead to weak and brittle bones—making them easier to break. Be sure to limit your intake of dietary sources of phosphorus (eg, dairy products, nuts, and beans).
A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol is recommended for people with kidney disease. This diet, combined with maintaining a healthy body weight, can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and control your blood cholesterol levels. If necessary, medications for lowering cholesterol can be used along with diet to reach your cholesterol goals.
You should be consuming enough calories to achieve and maintain your ideal body weight and protein stores. Fewer calories should come from protein and more from other food sources like sugars and vegetable fats.