What is Glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis is inflation of glomeruli , the tiny filters on kidneys that separate the excess fluids, electrolytes and waste from blood. Prolonged inflammation of glomeruli can cause damage to kidneys.
Glomerulonephritis can be an acute or a chronic condition.
What causes Glomerulonephritis?
The causes of Glomerulonephritis are many. In some cases, the cause is known, and in some, it is not known. It can come on its own or as an effect of a disease.
To fight infections like a strep throat infection, bacterial endocarditis or hepatitis, the body produces extra antibodies. These antibodies can cause inflammation of glomeruli.
Immune diseases like Lupus, Goodpasture’s syndrome and IgA nephropathy can cause Glomerulonephritis.
Glomerulonephritis can be associated with Vasculitis, a disease that affects blood vessels across the body.
Conditions like high blood pressure, diabetic nephropathy and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis can also lead to Glomerulonephritis.
Glomerulonephritis can manifest as an effect of certain cancers like lung cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and multiple myeloma
A family history of the disease
Sometimes chronic glomerulonephritis runs in families.
What are the symptoms of Glomerulonephritis?
Some symptoms of glomerulonephritis are:
- High blood pressure
- Swelling of face, hands, feet, and abdomen
- Reddish colored urine
- Foamy urine
How is Glomerulonephritis diagnosed?
Glomerulonephritis can be diagnosed through a couple of lab tests.
Presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, and protein in urine indicate glomerulonephritis.
High levels of waste products like creatinine and blood urea nitrogen in blood suggest that the patient may have glomerulonephritis.
A kidney X-ray, an ultrasound examination or a CT scan provides visuals of the present condition of the kidneys.
A kidney biopsy is considered the most reliable procedure to confirm the diagnosis of glomerulonephritis.
What are the treatments for Glomerulonephritis?
Treatment of Glomerulonephritis includes treatment to:
- Correct the cause
- Protect the kidney from further damage
- Manage symptoms
At end-stage of the disease, kidney dialysis and kidney transplant are the options.
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