Glomerulonephritis (GN) can be described as an inflammation of the glomeruli, which are kidney structures comprised of tiny blood vessels. These vessels form knots to aid the infiltration of blood and help eliminate fluids that are not needed. If the glomeruli in your body are affected, the kidneys may cease to function correctly, and you could fall into kidney failure.
Sometimes referred to as nephritis GN is a severe disease that can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. GN can be quick, abrupt, chronic, or even long-term. but This condition was previously commonly referred to as Bright’s disease.
Please find out the causes of GN, how to diagnose it, and the options for treatment.
What is the cause of glomerulonephritis?
However, The reasons behind GN vary depending on whether the condition is chronic or acute.
Acute GN may respond to an infection like an abscess or strep throat tooth. It may be caused by issues with your immune system’s overreaction against the disease. It can be cured without treatment. If it persists, urgent treatment is necessary to prevent kidney damage that can be long-term.
Certain diseases can cause acute GN. This includes:
- Strep throat
- systemic lupus is a type of lupus that is also known as “lupus
- Goodpasture syndrome is a scarce autoimmune condition that causes antibodies to can attack the kidneys and lungs of your patients.
- amyloidosis happens when abnormal proteins that could cause harm are accumulated within your tissues and organs
- Polyangiitis and granulomatosis (formerly known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis) is a rare condition that causes inflammation in blood vessels.
- polyarteritis Noosa is a disorder that causes cells to attack the arteries
A high dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, including ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), can also pose a risk. Consult your primary care physician before exceeding the recommended dosage and duration of treatment on the bottle.
The chronic type of GN can manifest over several years without causing any symptoms. and This could cause irreparable damage to the kidneys and eventually complete kidney failure.
Chronic GN does not always have an identifiable root. Genetic diseases can result in chronic GN. Hereditary nephritis is a common condition in young men with poor vision and hearing. Other possible causes are:
- certain immune diseases
- an antecedent of cancer
- exposure to certain hydrocarbon solvents
Also, having an acute type of GN could increase the likelihood of developing chronic GN later on.
What are the signs that are indicative of glomerulonephritis?
The symptoms you experience are contingent on the kind of GN you are suffering from and how severe the condition is.
Early signs of acute GN are:
- facial puffiness
- Less frequent urination
- The blood in your urine is a source of blood, which makes your urine turn to a dark, rusty colour
- Extra fluid fills the lungs, causing coughing
- high blood pressure
The chronic version of GN can develop slowly without presenting symptoms. There could be a gradual development of symptoms similar to those in acute GN. The symptoms may include:
- excessive protein or blood in your urine. This could be microscopic and appear in urine tests.
- high blood pressure
- Ankle swelling, and the face
- frequent night-time urine
- bubbled or foamy urine because of excessive protein
- Abdominal discomfort
- frequent nosebleeds
Your GN might be advanced enough to cause kidney failure. The symptoms of this are:
- Lack of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- dry, itchy skin
- Muscle cramps during the night
What can glomerulonephritis identify?
The initial step to diagnose is to conduct a urinalysis test. Protein and blood in the urine are significant indicators of the condition. An annual physical exam for a different state may result in GN identification.
A further urine test could be required to look for signs that indicate kidney health, such as:
- creatinine clearance
- total protein levels in the urine
- urine concentration
- The specific gravity of urine
- Red blood cells from urine
- Osmolality of urine
Tests of blood may reveal:
- anemia, which refers to the absence of blood-red cell
- abnormal albumin levels
- Blood urea nitrogen levels in the blood are uncommon.
- High creatinine levels
Your physician may also recommend tests for immunology to determine:
- Antiglomerular basement membrane antibodies
- antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
- antinuclear antibodies
- complement levels
The results of this test may reveal that your immune system is inflicting damage on your kidneys.
A kidney biopsy could be required for confirmation of the condition. It involves the analysis of a small portion of the kidney tissue collected using an instrument.
To know more about your health condition, You may also undergo scans such as:
- CT scan
- Ultrasounds of the kidney
- chest X-ray
- intravenous Pyelogram
What treatment options are that are available to glomerulonephritis?
Treatment options will depend on the kind of GN you’re experiencing and the source.
One option is to manage high blood pressure, especially in cases where it is the primary reason for the GN. Blood pressure is difficult to control if your kidneys aren’t functioning correctly. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medications, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, such as:
Your physician may prescribe angiotensin-receptor blockers, also known as ARBs like:
Corticosteroids are also a possibility when you have an immune response attacking the kidneys. They decrease the immune system.
Another way to lessen the effects of inflammation caused by the immune system is to use plasmapheresis. The process eliminates the fluid portion in blood, also known as plasma, and replaces it with plasma donated from the intravenous or donor, which is free of antibodies.
For those suffering from chronic GN, You’ll have to cut down on the amount of salt, protein, and potassium in the diet. Also, you should be aware of the amount of liquid you consume. Calcium supplements might be suggested, and you might be required to take diuretics to lessen swelling. Talk to your doctor or kidney specialist for advice regarding diet restrictions or supplements. They will arrange for a dietician who can advise you about your options.
If your condition gets more severe and you experience kidney damage, you might require dialysis. This procedure involves the machine is used to filter your blood. In the end, you might need an organ transplant.
What exactly are issues related to glomerulonephritis?
GN can result in a condition called nephrotic syndrome. This results in the loss of large amounts of protein from your urine. This causes a lot of salt and fluid retention within your body. You will experience high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and swelling in your body. Corticosteroids can treat this issue. At some point, the nephrotic disorder could result in end-stage renal diseases if it doesn’t get under control.
GN could cause the following conditions:
- acute kidney failure
- chronic kidney disease
- electrolyte imbalances, for example, excessive levels of sodium or potassium
- chronic urinary tract infections of the urinary tract
- congestive heart failure due to excess fluid or retained fluid
- Edema of the lungs due to retention of fluid or overload of fluid
- high blood pressure
- malignant hypertension that is rapidly increasing blood pressure
- higher risk of contracting infections
What is the outlook for the future?
if detected early, acute glomerulonephritis is usually temporary and then reversible. Chronic GN can be controlled through prompt treatment. If your GN gets worse, it is likely to cause a decrease in kidney function, chronic kidney failure, and even end-stage renal disease.
A severe kidney injury, kidney failure, and end-stage renal diseases may require dialysis or an organ transplant.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent recurrence and heal from GN:
- Maintain an appropriate weight.
- Restrict salt in your diet.
- Restrict protein in your diet.
- Confine potassium in your diet.
- Stop smoking.
Additionally, a meeting with a support group could be a great option to deal with the stress and anxiety of having a kidney condition.