Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by the following symptoms that result from changes that occur to the small, functional structures in the kidneys, such as: 1. Very high levels of protein in the urine 2. Low levels of protein in the blood due to its loss in the urine 3. Tissue swelling all over the body (edema) especially in the abdomen (ascites) 4. High cholesterol levels in the blood 5. Decrease in frequency of urination 6. Weight gain from excess fluid. The type of nephrotic syndrome that is most common in children is called idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. It accounts for about 90 percent of children with nephrotic syndrome. Idiopathic means that a disease occurs with no known cause.
The most common type of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome is called minimal-change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS). Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome is more common in boys than girls. The following are the most common symptoms of nephrotic syndrome. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: 1. Fatigue and malaise 2. Decreased appetite 3. Weight gain and facial swelling 4. Abdominal swelling or pain 5. Foamy urine 6. Fluid accumulation in the body spaces (edema) 7. Pale fingernail beds 8. Dull hair 9. Ears cartilage may feel less firm 10. Food intolerances or allergies