IgA Nephropathy (Berger's Disease) Explained


Mar 7, 2023

IgA Nephropathy (Berger's Disease) Explained

Understanding IgA Nephropathy

IgA Nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease, is a type of kidney disease that occurs when immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in the kidneys, leading to inflammation and damage. It is a rare condition that mainly affects teenagers and young adults, and it can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

What is IgA Nephropathy?

IgA Nephropathy is a condition that occurs when the immune system produces too much IgA, a type of antibody that helps fight infections. Normally, IgA is found in different parts of the body, including the kidneys, but in people with IgA Nephropathy, the IgA protein builds up in the kidneys, leading to inflammation and damage.


The symptoms of IgA Nephropathy may not be noticeable at first, but over time, they can become more severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Foam in the urine
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain


The exact cause of IgA Nephropathy is not known, but researchers believe that it may be related to a genetic predisposition. Other factors that may contribute to the development of IgA Nephropathy include:

  • Infections, such as strep throat or hepatitis B
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
  • Exposure to certain drugs or chemicals


To diagnose IgA Nephropathy, your doctor may perform a physical exam and run several tests, including:

  • Urine tests to check for protein and blood in the urine
  • Blood tests to measure kidney function
  • Kidney biopsy to examine a small sample of kidney tissue


There is no cure for IgA Nephropathy, but there are several treatments that can help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors or ARBs, to control high blood pressure
  • Immunosuppressive medications, such as steroids, to reduce inflammation in the kidneys
  • Dietary changes, such as reducing salt and protein intake, to help manage kidney function


If left untreated, IgA Nephropathy can lead to serious complications, such as:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • End-stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant
  • High blood pressure
  • Nephrotic syndrome, which causes swelling and high levels of protein in the urine


IgA Nephropathy is a serious kidney condition that can affect teenagers and young adults. While there is no cure for the disease, early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent complications. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of IgA Nephropathy, it is important to speak with a doctor as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to TechWire.net and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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