Causes and risk factors:
The exact cause of Goodpasture syndrome is not known; however, it is said to be an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the lungs and kidney. Antibodies are produced which attack the collagen contained in the air sacs or the lungs and the glomerular basement membrane of the kidney. Certain risk factors have been laid down which consist of intake of tobacco, smoking, certain drugs like cocaine, exposure to metallic dust or hydrocarbon fumes. Viral infections can also trigger the syndrome. Breathing of hydrocarbon solvents also increases the risk.
The disease is initiated with appearance of some vague symptoms. Rapid involvement of the kidney and lungs is seen. Weakness, fatigue, and loss of appetite are initially seen. Involvement of the lungs can lead to complaints of dry cough and shortness of breath. Initially, the cough is persistent with bloody expectoration. Affection of kidney causes burning during micturition along with bloody and dark urine. Swelling of legs, pale skin, nausea, and vomiting are other associated complaints seen. Pain in the back along with complaints of high blood pressure are also experienced by the patient.
Diagnosis and investigations:
In the initial stage diagnosis can be difficult, symptoms narrated by the patient along with certain investigations can aid in confirming the diagnosis. Blood test for detecting Goodpasture syndrome antibodies are diagnostic. Certain other investigations like urine analysis, chest x-ray, ultrasonography can be done. Biopsy of the tissue obtained from kidney and lungs along with kidney and lung function tests are also done.
With an early diagnosis, prognosis can be good. Plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin therapy are the two most effective treatments that can speed up the recovery and can reduce the severity. Corticosteroid drugs are administered either orally or intravenously.
Other modes of treatment:
The other modes of treatment can also be effective in treating the syndrome. Homoeopathy is a science which deals with individualization and considers a person in a holistic way. This science can be helpful in combating the symptoms. The Ayurvedic system of medicine which uses herbs and synthetic derivates can also be beneficial in combating the complaints.