IgA nephropathy (also known as Berger’s disease) is a kidney disease that happens when IgA build up in the kidneys, causing inflammation that damages kidney tissues. The buildup of IgA deposits inflames and damages the tiny filtering units, causing the kidneys to leak blood and protein into the urine. The damage may lead to scarring that progress slowly over many years to end-stage kidney disease.
IgA nephropathy may have no symptoms; it can be silent for years or even decades. Once symptoms appear, the most common one is hematuria, or blood in the urine. The amount of blood may be visible with the naked eye that urine may turn pink or the color of tea or cola, or even dark bloody urine. Sometimes mount of blood is so small that your doctor may detect it during a routine screening.
Other symptoms include:
Anyone at any age can get IgA nephropathy although it’s more common in certain groups. A person may be more likely to develop IgA nephropathy if person:
In some cases, it can develop after a child or young adult has a viral infection of the upper respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts.
If you find blood in the urine, talk to your doctor immediately.
IgA nephropathy cannot be prevented and has no cure. Some people are able to live with the disease without many complications. But some people who do get IgA nephropathy may progress to End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). Your doctor will work with you to help treat your condition.
Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.