Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Lupus nephritis is an inflammation of the kidney
caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a disease of the immune system.
SLE causes harm to the skin, joints, kidneys, and brain.
What causes SLE is unknown. Many
factors may play a role, including:
•heredity (a gene passed down by a parent)
Some people with SLE may have no
symptoms of kidney disease. However, lupus nephritis may cause weight gain, high
blood pressure, dark urine, or swelling around the eyes, legs, ankles, or
Diagnosis may require urine
and blood tests and x-rays of the kidneys. Treatment depends on the symptoms.
Medicines can decrease swelling, lower blood pressure, and decrease inflammation
by suppressing the immune system. The patient may need to limit protein, sodium,
and potassium intake.