Successful treatment of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and the nephrotic syndrome often associated with it, can be challenging. Your doctor may recommend:
- Treating any identified causes of FSGS
- Following a healthy diet that includes a strict low-sodium approach to help protect your kidneys and lower your blood pressure and limiting protein to a moderate amount
- Using diuretic medications to help excrete salt and water, which can improve blood pressure and swelling
- Avoiding medications that have the potential to damage your kidneys, for example, some pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotension II receptor blocker to lower your blood pressure and decrease protein in your urine (proteinuria)
- Treating high cholesterol
- Taking a vitamin D supplement if your vitamin D level is found to be low
- Taking anticoagulants if you've had a previous blood clot
- Stopping smoking
- Reducing body weight if you're overweight
- Getting regular physical activity and exercise
Drugs to suppress your immune system are sometimes offered to people who can tolerate corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs, but this approach is not effective for everyone. These medications can have serious side effects.
Some people respond well to immunologic therapy, but FSGS is a disease that may relapse. Because scarring in the glomeruli may be permanent, follow-up monitoring is important to assess kidney function.
For people who progress to kidney failure, treatment options include:
- Dialysis. Mayo Clinic offers state-of-the-art dialysis treatment, including the option for in-home dialysis.
- Kidney transplant. All three Mayo campuses offer kidney transplants. Mayo has performed thousands of kidney transplants with above average results.
Read more about nephrotic syndrome treatment.
March 20, 2014
- Focal glomerulosclerosis. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/focal.cfm. Accessed Aug. 20, 2013.
- FSGS: Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. https://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu/neptune/patients/learnmore/fsgs/. Accessed Aug. 20, 2013.
- D'Agati VD, et al. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;365:2398.
- Ponticelli C, et al. Current and emerging treatments for idiopathic focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis in adults. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology. 2013;9:251.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 23, 2013.
- Find a transplant center. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. http://www.srtr.org/csr/current/Centers/Default.aspx. Accessed Aug. 27, 2013.
- Thomas LF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Oct. 1, 2013.
- Anderson CF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 6, 2013.
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