Goodpasture’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that, as with other autoimmune diseases, causes the immune system to attack its own body. With Goodpasture’s Syndrome this manifests in the kidneys and lungs of the sufferer. Goodpasture’s Syndrome is rare but most commonly found in men with the onset beginning between the ages of sixteen and sixty-one- the median age for onset being twenty-one. This disease can be triggered by the inhalation of chemical compounds such as gasoline or weed killer. It can also be triggered by viral infections; there have been links found between the disease and cigarette smoking as well as hereditary links. Death by Goodpasture’s Syndrome, while rare, is usually due to complications involving renal failure, which does not develop until 80% or more of the kidney failure is complete.
Symptoms of Goodpasture’s Syndrome
The early symptoms of Goodpasture’s Syndrome include general weakness, weight loss, nausea, high blood pressure, and over all chest pain. As it progresses to the lungs, one may see shortness of breath or a dry cough for a long period of time before the lung damage is severe but the deterioration of lung tissue can occur rapidly. This deterioration sometimes shows itself in a cough with blood in it, most prevalent in sufferers who smoke cigarettes. As the kidneys are affected, one may see discoloration in the urine and sometimes a small amount of blood in the urine with the possibility of rapid loss of kidney function.
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