What is Glomerulonephritis?
One of the most common causes of chronic renal failure in USA is glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the small filters in the kidneys. The glomeruli remove excess fluid, electrolytes, and waste from your bloodstream and incorporate them into your urine. Glomerulonephritis can occur acutely or chronically .
Glomerulonephritis may occur alone, as well as lupus ordiabetesIt can also occur as part of another disease, such as Severe and prolonged inflammation associated with glomerulonephritis can cause great damage to the kidneys.
What Causes Glomerulonephritis?
Many existing conditions can cause glomerulonephritis . Sometimes the disease is inherited from the family, sometimes the cause is not known exactly. Conditions that can cause inflammation of the kidney glomeruli:
- Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN): Glomerulonephritis can develop after a throat or skin infection. The body produces extra antibodies to fight infection. At the end of a normal process, bacteria die and the resulting residues are filtered out from the kidney, while in PSGN these residues are trapped inside the glomerulus and inflammation develops. Although children are more likely to develop streptococcal glomerulonephritis than adults, they also have a better chance of a quick recovery.
- Bacterial endocarditis: Bacteria can sometimes spread to your bloodstream and settle in the heart, causing an infection of the inner lining of the heart and heart valves. Your risk is greater if you have a damaged or artificial heart valve.
- Viral infections: Viral infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C can trigger glomerulonephritis.
Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease, lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs .
Goodpasture syndrome: A rare immunological lung disease that can mimic pneumonia, the syndrome causes bleeding in the lungs as well as glomerulonephritis.
IgA nephropathy: This primary glomerular disease, characterized by recurrent episodes of blood in the urine, results from the deposition of immunoglobulin A in the glomeruli.
Polyarteritis: This type of vasculitis; It affects the heart, kidney, intestine, and small and medium-sized blood vessels in many parts of the body.
Wegener’s granulomatosis: Affects small and medium-sized blood vessels in the lungs, upper respiratory tract, and kidneys.Conditions That May Cause Injury to the Glomeruli:
- High blood pressure: May damage the kidneys and impair their ability to function normally. Glomerulonephritis can also lead to high blood pressure as it can reduce kidney function and affect the way the kidneys process sodium.
- Diabetic kidney disease: It can affect people with diabetes and often takes years to develop. Good control of blood sugar and blood pressure levels can slow kidney damage.
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: Characterized by diffuse scarring of some glomeruli, this condition may result from another disease and may occur for an unknown reason.
In addition to the causes listed above , it is also associated with certain cancers such as multiple myeloma , lung cancer , chronic lymphocyte leukemia .
Who Gets Glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis can occur in men and women of all age groups. Those whose throat and skin are infected with streptococci but not treated, those with intravenous drug habits, rheumatic heart valve patients , smokers and those with certain rheumatological diseases are more prone to develop certain types of glomerulonephritis. Glomerulnephritis is not usually inherited, with the exception of certain types such as Alport syndrome and familial Mediterranean fever .
What Are the Complications of Glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis can damage the kidneys, impairing their filtering ability. As a result, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste build up in the body. Possible complications of glomerulonephritis include:
- Acute kidney failure: Loss of function in the filtering part of the nephron can cause rapid accumulation of waste products.
- Chronic kidney disease: The kidneys gradually lose their filtering ability. deteriorating and falling far below normal capacity kidney, dialysis and transplant will be required.
- High blood pressure: Damage to the kidneys and accumulation of waste in the bloodstream can raise blood pressure.
- Nephrotic syndrome: With this syndrome, excess protein in the urine causes too little protein in the blood.
What Are the Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis?
Symptoms of glomerulonephritis depend on whether it is in acute or chronic form and on the cause of its occurrence. The first signs that something is going wrong may come from the results of a routine urinalysis.
Among the symptoms of glomerulonephritis;
- red blood cells in your urine (hematuria)
- Foamy urine (proteinuria) due to excess protein
- Hypertension (hypertension)
- Significant swelling and fluid retention (edema) in the face, hands, feet and abdomen
How is Glomerulonephritis Diagnosed?
Tests to diagnose glomerulonephritis include:
- Urinalysis: In the urinalysis, red blood cells can be found, which may indicate damage to the glomeruli.
- Blood tests: Measurements of waste levels such as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, and their increase can also provide information about the deterioration of the glomeruli.
- Imaging tests: If your physician detects evidence of damage, he or she may request scans such as kidney x-ray, ultrasound examination, tomography scan.
- Kidney biopsy: A kidney biopsy is always required to confirm the diagnosis of glomerulonephritis .
How Is Glomerulonephritis Treated?
The treatment and outcome of glomerulonephritis depends on:
- Whether the disease has an acute or chronic form,
- underlying causes
- type and severity of symptoms,
In general, the goal of a treatment plan is to protect the kidneys from further damage. Dialysis can be applied for acute glomerulonephritis and acute kidney failure .
With dialysis , more fluids can be removed and high blood pressure can be controlled. Last period kidney disease The only long-term treatment for dialysis and kidney transplant. Where a transplant is not possible due to poor general health, dialysis is the only option available.
Home Precautions for Glomerulonephritis
If kidney disease is present, the doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes:
- Salt intake can be restricted to prevent or minimize fluid retention, bloating, and hypertension.
- In order to slow down the formation of waste in the blood, less protein and potassium should be consumed.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is important.
- If diabetes is present, it is important to control the blood sugar level.
- Quitting smoking will be an effective measure.