Pregnancy and a Kidney Disease, What those two together look like?
In December 2008 I was diagnosed IgA Nephropathy, an unfortunately common kidney disease. This disease causes your kidney’s to not function properly, instead of breaking down proteins and other things that it’s supposed to break down, the kidneys do not. They also allow those bad things to escape into other parts of the body which causes swelling and discomfort, among internal damages. This disease, if not addressed or undiagnosed, can cause life altering issues for a person. Mine was diagnosed fairly quickly and has been in remission since May 2009. Remission for a kidney disease patient means that you still have the disease but it is dormant. It can return at any time, even if a person is very careful.
Pregnancy can be extremely hard on a woman with this kidney disease. During the first trimester of a normal pregnancy, blood pressure decreases and sodium water retention begins. Women with a kidney disease tend to have increases in proteinuria, protein spilling into urine causing increased swelling, even in the early stages of pregnancy. During the second and third trimesters, a normal pregnant woman will have a rise in blood pressure. For women with kidney disease, dangerous elevations of blood pressure and dramatic increases in proteinuria can increase. Basically, the pregnancy can cause the kidney disease to come out of remission or get out of control if not in remission.
This can be harmful to the baby as well. The increased blood pressure can cause pre-eclampsia and preterm labor. So regular checks with the Nephrologist throughout the pregnancy is very important. You can see my progress and how kidney disease affects my pregnancy on my monthly updates.