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Men’s Health: Alport Syndrome

Men's Health: Alport Syndrome

Alport Syndrome is understood as a genetic condition which comes with kidney disease, loss of hearing and vision problems. Several patients have experienced loss of kidney functioning after developing the condition at an early stage, after which the kidneys eventually fail. Alport Syndrome is a serious disease that requires immediate attention. Lack of care can lead to death.

Men's Health: Alport Syndrome

Symptoms

  • Hematuria

The most common symptom of Alport Syndrome is bloodied urine, also known as hematuria. It starts with small signs of illness like a bad cough or cold at a very young age, and later turns into excessive bleeding in one’s urine. The colour is pink at first and later changes to dark or deep red.

  • Proteinuria

Proteinuria occurs when proteins found in blood, pass into urine. Such conditions clearly indicate that your kidneys are not working too well. There are no other significant signs and it can be detected only if a laboratory test is done. Those who have proteinuria can face renal failure as young as 25 years of age, but a transplant if done earlier can save them.

  • Eyesight Problems

When you have Alport syndrome, the lens of your eyes can change its shape over a while. This could lead to short sightedness, better known as myopia. Often, the patient has to replace their lenses depending on the seriousness of the situation. Apart from that, the colour of your tissues in the retina also tends to change abnormally. It causes white flecks to form near the periphery which affects the vision significantly.

  • Auditory Difficulties

Often, the patient also suffers from a hearing deficiency that tends to develop during the early years or adolescence. Hearing loss increases in patients by the age of ten. It usually happens when the hair cells in the nerves, related to hearing, are damaged. Because of this, the patient is not able to hear clearly.

Causes

The mutation of any one of these protein genes – COL4A3, COL4A4 and COL4A5 – can cause Alport Syndrome, since each of them has an important role to play in the kidney. It also causes abnormalities in the glomuleri (ball shaped capillaries responsible for filtering blood from urine), which stops the kidney from keeping the blood. As a result, it passes into the urine and soon causes kidney failure.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment or cure for Alport syndrome at this point in time. The current approach is to treat the symptoms as they arise, and to help slow the progression of kidney disease. This includes

Currently, there is no specific treatment for Alport syndrome. The goal is to treat the symptoms and help slow the progression of kidney disease. This may include: ACE inhibitor or ARB medicines (medications to control high blood pressure)

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