Skip to Main Content

Nephrotic Syndrome


Call or click for an in-person
or virtual visit.

Call us at


Insurance Plans

View a list of insurance plans accepted at the University of Miami Health System.

Nephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur when your kidneys are unable to filter blood or remove waste and excess fluids through urination. The condition is caused by damage to the glomeruli, the tiny blood vessels that filter blood in your kidneys.

When the glomeruli are damaged, protein from the blood seeps into your urine. This causes a buildup of waste and water in your body, which can lead to chronic kidney failure. Nephrotic syndrome symptoms can be severe, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Foamy or bubbly urine, caused by proteinuria
  • Hematuria (too little protein in the blood)
  • High cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the blood
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Proteinuria (too much protein in the urine)
  • Weight gain, due to fluid buildup

Nephrotic syndrome is caused by glomerular diseases, such as glomerulosclerosis (scarring in the glomerular vessels) or glomerulonephritis (swelling of the vessels). It can also be caused by diabetes, heart failure, renal vasculitis, infections, lymphoma, and intravenous (IV) drug use.

Our team of expert physicians at University of Miami Health System will ensure you understand what nephrotic syndrome is and how it impacts you or your child’s health. We will then create a personalized plan using leading-edge treatments.


A kidney biopsy is a tissue sample taken from the kidney through a needle and analyzed at a lab. Results help your doctor diagnose the type of kidney disease, assess kidney damage, and determine the best treatment.

Blood Tests
Doctors use blood tests to help diagnose kidney problems and evaluate your kidney function, blood cell counts, and electrolyte levels. During a kidney function test, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) measures the protein, albumin, and creatinine levels in the blood. These tests help your doctor check for underlying conditions that may be causing nephrotic syndrome.

Urinalysis or 24-hour Volume Test
A urinalysis uses a sample of urine to look for red blood cells, white blood cells, infections, or excessive protein in your urine. Your doctor may also use a 24-hour collection to measure the amount of urine you produce over that time, and scan for the same factors as a standard urinalysis.


Your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce swelling and excess fluid in the blood, and treat infections.

Nutritional Counseling
Good nutrition can help reduce swelling, lower cholesterol, and manage diabetes or prevent Type 2 diabetes. You can improve your health by eating a well-balanced diet that’s low in salt and saturated fats. Our dietitians educate you about proper eating, food shopping, label reading, and meal planning and cooking.

Why Choose UHealth?

Nationally recognized kidney care. Our kidney care program has been ranked among the nation’s best programs by U.S. News & World Report for the past nine years. We use preventive approaches to help avoid kidney injury and disease, along with advanced therapies to improve kidney health and function. We offer some of the most advanced kidney therapies, including continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE).

Focus on preventive treatment. We concentrate on preventative treatment to decrease the risk of further health impacts, slow the progress of the disease, and help your child reach their full developmental potential when necessary.

Comprehensive care in a compassionate, supportive environment. Kidney health impacts vital functions throughout your body. The kidneys can also be impacted by autoimmune or genetic disorders, which can lead to additional complications. That’s why our nephrologists work as part of a team to address the whole person. This group can include general physicians and specialists, nurses, social workers, dietitians, psychologists, and teachers.

Latest breakthroughs in clinical treatment. Our leading-edge research allows us to offer advanced approaches you won’t find nearby, including promising new therapies through clinical trials. Our academic research is supported by nationally recognized health organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Society of Nephrology, American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association.

World-class care in an academic health system. We’re recognized by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases as a Center of Excellence and a leader in treating kidney conditions. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the latest treatment options.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.