The disorder damages the tiny blood vessels in the glomeruli of the kidneys. The glomeruli filter blood to make urine and remove waste products from the blood.
At first, there are no symptoms. However, the destruction of the glomeruli over time leads to blood in the urine and may decrease the effectiveness of the kidney's filtering system. Often kidney function is lost over time and waste products and fluids build up in the body.
In women, the disorder is usually mild, with few or no symptoms. In men, the symptoms are more severe and get worse faster.
- Abnormal urine color
- Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
- Blood in the urine (may be made worse by upper respiratory infections or exercise)
- Decreased or loss of vision (more common in males)
- Flank pain
- Loss of hearing (more common in males)
- Swelling around the eyes
- Swelling overall
The condition can progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) at an early age (between adolescence and age 40).
Note: There may be no symptoms in some cases. Symptoms of chronic kidney failure or heart failure may be present or may develop.