Nephrotic Syndrome – Condition and Symptoms
Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder. It is characterized by the development of small pores in the kidneys which allow large amounts of protein to leak into the urine from the blood. These pores are not large enough to allow actual cells through. If they were, this would indicate a condition known as hematuria.
The condition is caused by an attack on the filtering system in the kidneys, and may be the result of any of several primary diseases, most of which are idiopathic (meaning the cause is not known). Some of the more common symptoms associated with nephritic syndrome include:
- Proteinuria. Excess protein in your urine.
- Hyperlipidemia. Overproduction of lipoproteins because of the effects of protein in the urine .
- Edema. Localized swelling in the body, commonly on the face.
The most immediately noticeable effect of nephrotic syndrome is the build up of fluid in the body as the body retains water and sodium. This can cause puffiness around the eyes (especially in the morning), swelling in the legs or feet, and the buildup of fluid in the abdomen, typically leading to the abdomen swelling and feeling hard to the touch. Other common effects include anemia, foamy urine, frothy urine, and shortness of breath.
Nephrotic syndrome is diagnosed with a 24 hour urine specimen which measures the proteins in the urine. In some cases, doctors may perform a biopsy on the kidney or an ultrasound of the entire abdomen in order to diagnose and try to pinpoint the cause of nephrotic syndrome.
Treatment for nephrotic syndrome is designed to reduce the level of protein in the urine and to deal with the bloating caused by fluid retention. Dietary measures are usually recommended, including:
- Reducing Sodium.
- Increasing high protein food, notably meat, poultry, and fish.
- Avoiding saturated fats.
- Increasing vegetable intake.
- Increasing fruit intake.
- Monitoring fluid intake.
When nephrotic syndrome is caught early, it is usually treatable. When it is caught later, especially if it has caused end stage renal failure, the options become more limited, and include dialysis and kidney transplant.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome is covered in the Social Security Administration’s impairment listing manual (known as the Blue Book) under Section 6.06. In order to qualify as a listed condition, the condition must last for at least three months and you must be under a doctor’s care, following all prescribed treatments. Your urine must be tested at least twice within the three month period to establish that you have nephrotic syndrome and must show significant levels of protein in the urine.
When filing for benefits, you will want to make sure that all medical documentation is complete, most importantly the documentation of what types of therapy have been attempted and your compliance with them. You will also need the results of all lab tests conducted.
Many people who don’t fall within the parameters outlined for the SSA listing for nephrotic syndrome may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits by showing that their residual functional capacity has been compromised to the point that they can’t be expected to continue working. When the SSA evaluates a claim this way (usually because the condition alone isn’t severe enough to fit the requirements of the listing), they take into account the effects of all disabling conditions you may have.
Your Nephrotic Syndrome Disability Case
The best way to go about filing for Social Security disability benefits based on nephrotic syndrome (or anything else) is to start by consulting a Social Security disability lawyer. Experienced disability lawyers deal with the SSA disability system day in and day out and are very familiar with the SSA’s requirements. They know what the adjudicators are looking for, and can set up your claim in such a way that it will have the best chances of being approved. This isn’t to say that all initial disability claims represented by a Social Security attorney will automatically be approved. However, the rate of approval is more than 50% better on initial claims when they are represented by competent legal counsel. This is due in large part to the fact that many of the 70% of initial claims which are denied are rejected because of missing medical documentation and other similar errors or omissions.
If you do end up needing to go through the appeals process, you should consult a Social Security disability lawyer, even if you filed the initial claim without one. A disability lawyer can remove much of the stress of dealing with the SSA, and markedly improves your chances of having you claim approved and receiving benefits at every step of the process.
If you’re suffering with nephrotic syndrome and can’t continue to work, you need disability benefits. Don’t get yourself tangled up in needless delays with the SSA’s red tape. Have a Social Security disability attorney evaluate your disability claim today and start receiving monthly disability benefits.