May also be called: NS: Nephrosis Nephrotic (neh-FROT-ik) syndrome is a condition in which a person loses large amounts of protein through the urine, which can lead to swelling of the face (often the eyes) or body (often around the genitals). More to Know Blood is filtered by tiny structures in the kidneys called glomeruli. A number of different conditions can cause the glomeruli to allow too much protein to come out of the blood and into the urine (pee). Protein helps hold fluids in the blood. With less protein, the fluids can move to other parts of the body and cause a type of swelling called edema, usually in the face, abdomen, arms, and legs. This can be accompanied by unintentional weight gain. Nephrotic syndrome isn't a disease and doesn't cause pain, but it can be a sign of kidney problems that may require treatment. For most younger kids, nephrotic syndrome is caused by a condition called minimal change disease. Other common causes in teens and adults include cancer, diabetes, and diseases and disorders of the kidney. Treatment for nephrotic syndrome involves treating the condition affecting the glomeruli. Keep in Mind Medication can effectively treat many causes of nephrotic syndrome, including minimal change disease. Most kids whose nephrotic syndrome is due to minimal change disease will eventually outgrow the condition during their teens. All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts. Back to Articles Related Articles A to Z: Glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli, the parts of the filtering units (nephrons) of the kidney. Read More Glomerulonephritis With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more. Read More Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine. Read More Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine. Read More Your Kidneys You need at least one kidney to live. Find out why in this article for kids. Read More Kidney Disease Sometimes, the kidneys can't do their job properly. In teens, kidney disease is usually due to infections, structural issues, glomerulonephritis, or nephrotic syndrome. Read More Kidney Diseases in Childhood The kidneys play a critical role in health. When something goes wrong, it could indicate a kidney disease. What are kidney diseases, and how can they be treated? Read More Urine Test: Protein The urine protein test is most commonly used to screen for kidney disease and also can help monitor kidney function. Read More When Your Child Has a Chronic Kidney Disease Parents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here. Read More Diabetes Center Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes. Read More Diabetes Center Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy. Read More Diabetes Center Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do. Read More Cancer Center Visit our Cancer Center for teens to get information and advice on treating and coping with cancer. Read More Cancer Center From treatments and prevention to coping with the emotional aspects of cancer, the Cancer Center provides comprehensive information that parents need. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.