IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger disease, is a kidney disease. It occurs when the kidneys accumulate a protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA) that fights germs. This leads to inflammation, causing swelling that can make it difficult for the kidneys to filter waste from the blood over time.
IgA nephropathy typically progresses slowly over the years, but its course varies from person to person. Some people experience blood leakage into their urine without any other issues, while others may suffer complications, including kidney function loss and protein spillage into urine. Some individuals may develop kidney failure, which means the kidneys cease to work effectively enough to filter the body’s waste.
There is no cure for IgA nephropathy, but medication can slow its progression. Some people may require treatment to decrease inflammation, reduce protein spillage into the urine, and prevent kidney failure. Such therapies may help the disease become inactive, a condition known as remission. Keeping blood pressure under control and lowering cholesterol levels can also slow the disease’s progression.