IgA Nephropathy (IgAN) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys. It affects how blood
is filtered in the small blood vessels of the kidneys. IgAN occurs when an abnormal protein
damages the filtering unit (glomerulus) inside the kidneys. It is estimated that 20-40% of the
people who have IgAN will develop end-stage kidney disease, which means they will need dialysis
or kidney transplantation to survive
HOW IS IGA NEPHROPATHY DIAGNOSED?
The first sign of IgAN is often blood in urine. Should this occur, you should immediately consult your doctor. If your doctor suspects IgAN, he or she will most likely order urine tests as well as a kidney biopsy which is the only way to confirm the diagnosis with certainty
HOW IS IGA NEPHROPATHY TREATED?
There is no current cure for IgAN and that is why the IgA Nephropathy Foundation was
founded. Since the disease varies from one person to another, there is no definite progression or
course that the disease will take. What works for one person may have virtually no effect on
another, but our goal is to bring those with IgAN together to share experiences and bring
awareness to this disease. Since there is no cure, treatments focus on slowing the progression of the disease and preventing
complications. Some individuals experience complete remission, while others live normal lives with
medications to treat their symptoms (such as high blood pressure meds, immunosuppressants,
omega 3 fatty acids & vitamin E supplements), yet others experience complete kidney failure
(end-stage kidney disease) and require either dialysis or a kidney transplant depending on the
severity. It is estimated that as many as half of those affected with IgAN will develop end-stage
renal disease. This poses one large problem… there aren’t enough kidneys and many patients wait
on the transplant list for years.
The IgA Nephropathy Foundation’s mission is to be a patient-centric organization focused on
finding a cure for IgA Nephropathy. Using the power of the patient community we are focused on
funding research, using patient advocacy to empower our patients, and building a network of
support. As a patient run organization, we will work together with the hope of finding better treatment
options and the ultimate cure. By patients, for patients.