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Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a damage to glomeruli, which are tiny blood vessel-filled structures inside the kidneys. These knots of blood arteries help filter the blood and remove waste fluid. The kidneys will stop functioning normally if the glomeruli are damaged, and kidney failure can occur. GN, also known as nephritis, is a severe condition that can be life-threatening and must be treated immediately. GN might be short-term, long-term, acute, or abrupt. Bright's disease was the previous name for this condition.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms may vary depending on whether you have an acute or chronic form of glomerulonephritis. One might not experience any chronic illness symptoms, and a regular urine test might reveal the first sign that something is wrong.

Glomerulonephritis signs and symptoms may include:


When to see a doctor?

Schedule a quick consultation with the doctor if you have any signs of glomerulonephritis. Blood-containing urine will appear brown or pink. Additionally, if you develop any other symptoms related to the urine, you must get medical attention. Early treatment can prevent more severe nephritis consequences and irreversible kidney damage.


Causes

There are many possible causes of glomerulonephritis, including:

  • Toxins or medications
  • Viral infections like hepatitis B and C and HIV.
  • IgA kidney disease
  • Vasculitis including Polyarteritis
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Goodpasture's syndrome, IgA nephropathy.
  • Inflammation of the kidneys related to lupus.
  • Throat and skin infections are frequently brought on by bacterial infections, such as staph or strep.

Risk factors -

Factors that may increase the risk of this problem are:

Infections

The risk of glomerulonephritis increases as diseases progress. The immune system may become hyperactive and target the glomeruli due to the infection, which might be bacterial, viral, or fungal.

Genetic factors

There are circumstances when genetic factors increase glomerulonephritis risk.

Medication

Aspirin and other NSAIDs should not be taken for long periods since they increase the risk of glomerulonephritis.

Underlying diseases

Glomerulonephritis caused by an underlying condition is secondary glomerulonephritis. Henoch-Schönlein purpura, Goodpasture's syndrome, vasculitis, diabetes, sickle cell, lupus nephritis, and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis are states that raise the risk of glomerulonephritis.

Exposure to toxic chemicals

When people are exposed to harmful substances, such as hydrocarbon solvents, their chance of developing glomerulonephritis increases.

Complications

  • Glomerulonephritis can cause severe organ damage, hypertension, heart failure, and pulmonary edema.
  • If left untreated, the kidneys might stop functioning altogether. High waste accumulation necessitates immediate dialysis.
  • End-stage renal disease is diagnosed when the kidney function falls to less than 10% of its average level. The patient will need ongoing dialysis or a kidney transplant to remain alive.
  • The doctor may recommend medicines to help lower blood pressure, reduce the cholesterol, or protect against blood clots if you are diagnosed with glomerulonephritis.

Prevention

Most glomerulonephritis types may not be preventable. However, the following precautions may be helpful:

  • If you have impetigo or a painful throat from a strep infection, get medical help.
  • Follow safe-sex guidelines and abstain from intravenous drug use to avoid infections like HIV and hepatitis that can cause glomerulonephritis.
  • Keeping high blood pressure under control reduces the risk of kidney damage caused by hypertension.
  • To help avoid diabetic nephropathy, control your blood sugar.

Controlling the blood pressure is essential if you have a chronic form of glomerulonephritis because it may prevent kidney damage. The doctor can advise you to eat less protein.


Diagnosis

Tests to determine kidney health and check out glomerulonephritis include:

Urine test

A urinalysis can detect red blood cells, proteins that should not be present in urine, or white blood cells (which is a sign of inflammation) which are indicators of impaired kidney function. Doctor may ask you for collection of urine in a container for 24 hrs as a urine sample.

Blood tests

Blood samples can identify waste materials in the bloodstream at greater than normal levels, the presence of antibodies that could indicate an autoimmune condition, a bacterial or viral infection, or blood sugar levels that could suggest diabetes.

Imaging testing

If the doctor finds indications of kidney illness, they could advise imaging tests that could reveal a difference in the kidney's size or shape. These examinations might include X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans.

Kidney biopsy

In this process, small fragments of kidney tissue are taken and examined under a microscope. A biopsy aims to confirm a diagnosis and evaluate the type and extent of tissue damage.


Treatment

Glomerulonephritis treatment include:

  • The intensity of the symptoms, the underlying cause of the condition, and its acuteness or chronicity all influence how it should be treated.
  • Glomerulonephritis caused by streptococcal infection often goes away, but the doctor could advise taking antibiotics to eliminate the germs causing the infection.
  • The person will generally need to drink fewer liquids and avoid being away from foods and beverages with a lot of protein, salt, or potassium.
  • In addition to slowing renal function and lowering blood pressure, diuretics also help to relax blood arteries. Immune-suppressing medications and corticosteroids manage inflammation.
  • In cases of acute glomerulonephritis, temporary dialysis may be required. In dialysis, a machine takes over the kidney's function in the body's waste product filtration.
  • Plasmapheresis, a mechanical procedure that removes plasma-containing antibodies from the blood and replaces it with other fluid or donated plasma, may be used on a person with autoimmune issues.
  • A kidney transplant can be an option if the patient is otherwise healthy. A kidney transplant can be an option. If a transplant is not possible, dialysis may be the only choice.

Those who have had the mumps once in their lifetime develop lifelong immunity to it. This implies that you can't catch it again.


Dos and Don’ts

Do’sDon’ts
Keep yourself hydrated Eat canned, and processed foods
Control your blood sugar level if you have diabetes Eat high sodium meats
Eat a healthy diet with less protein, potassium, phosphorus, and salt. Skip medications prescribed by the doctor
Exercise regularly to maintain the ideal weight Smoke and drink alcohol
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables Discontinue the course of antibiotics without consulting the doctor

By taking precautions and adapting to a healthy lifestyle it's possible to avoid kidney diseases and its severity.


Glomerulonephritis Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover hospital, we have the best team of nephrologists and kidney surgeons who collaborate to deliver Glomerulonephritis therapy with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team uses the most recent diagnostic techniques, therapeutic methods, and other technology to treat various Glomerulonephritis diseases and disorders. We use a multi-disciplinary approach to treat glomerulonephritis, combining the best aspects of many different specialties to give patients comprehensive treatment and respond to their medical requirements for a quicker and more complete recovery.

Citations

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/glomerulonephritis/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560644/
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/glomerulonephritis.html
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/glomerulonephritis
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.582272/full
https://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007/978-3-319-49379-4

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