What is nephrotic syndrome? Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder that indicates damaged kidneys. It refers to a group of symptoms, including protein in the urine, low blood protein, and high cholesterol. Nephrotic syndrome can occur in anyone. The syndrome arises for many reasons, including a condition known as minimal change disease in children and glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation) in adults. Nephrotic syndrome can also be caused by infection, medication side effects, heredity, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes and lupus. Other symptoms and signs of nephrotic syndrome are foamy urine, unexplained weight gain, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, and edema (swelling), especially in the face, feet and abdomen. Treatment for nephrotic syndrome is aimed at controlling these symptoms. Nephrotic syndrome may be treated with blood pressure medications, such as angiotensin receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Immunosuppressant drugs and drugs to treat high cholesterol may also be used, depending upon the cause. Proper medical treatment may help prevent further damage to the kidneys. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms of nephrotic syndrome, such as convulsions or difficulty breathing. Seek prompt medical care for persistent or bothersome symptoms of nephrotic syndrome, including fever, headache, painful urination, or changes in amount and frequency of urination.