Goodpasture syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease which usually poses a threat to the person’s life. The condition occurs when the walls of lungs and tiny filtering units in the kidneys are attacked by the immune system. The disease has been named after Dr. Ernest Goodpasture who discovered about the syndrome in 1919.
If the proper and timely treatment is not provided to the patient, it can lead to bleeding in the lungs, kidney, and sometimes death.
Although the exact cause of Goodpasture syndrome is not known but, there are some environmental factors that are believed to increase the risk of the syndrome. Some respiratory infections can trigger the condition. Inhaling hydrocarbon fumes, metallic dust, tobacco smoke, or drugs like cocaine can also increase the risk.
It is believed that the lungs and kidney of patients who suffer from the syndrome are attacked by the immune system. This happens because in this condition the immune system of the body is fooled into thinking that these parts of the body are foreign to the body itself.
The symptoms of the syndrome start appearing gradually and then affect the lungs and then the kidneys. In some cases they might increase rapidly and become serious in a matter of days. The initial symptoms may include:
The more lungs and kidneys are put safe the better it is. The prognosis of this syndrome depends on the condition of the kidneys. The kidneys can be damaged permanently and a kidney transplant or dialysis may be needed to avoid kidney failure.
Patients who receive timely treatment stand the best chance of surviving the condition.
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