Saturday, 11 October 2014

Glomerulonephritis


Glomerulonephritis
Glomerulonephritis – Several Renal Diseases 

Glomerulonephritis which is also known as glomerular nephritis is referred to several renal diseases which usually affect both the kidneys. It is the damage to the tiny filters in the kidneys known as the glomeruli.

The glomeruli are the structures present in the kidneys that are made up of tiny blood vessels which help to filter blood and eliminate the excess fluid. If they are damaged, they do not function properly leading to kidney failure and the condition of the damage is known as glomerulonephritis. The diseases are often characterised by inflammation either of the glomeruli or small blood vessels in the kidneys but not all the diseases have an inflammatory component.

It is caused by the immune system attacking the healthy body tissue and in most cases, this condition does not cause much noticeable symptoms and hence diagnosed only when a urine or blood test is done for another condition. In some severe cases, glomerulonephritis may cause some visible blood in the urine or the urine may tend to be frothy with swelling of the legs or other areas of the body – oedema could also tend to develop. Conditions which may pose a problem with the immune system are vasculitis and a form of lupus known as systemic lupus erythematosus.

Serious Condition – Life Threatening 

Glomerulonephritis tends to be a serious condition and could be life threatening which requires immediate treatment. This condition is at times call nephritis which can be both acute as well as chronic glomerulonephritis. Treatment would depend on the cause and the severity of the condition while mild cases may not need any treatment.

Treatment could be started by making changes in the diet like the consumption of less salt in order to reduce the strain on the kidneys with medication to reduce blood pressure and help to protect the kidneys.

Though treatment is often effective in several cases, there could be further problems may tend to develop which may include high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, damage to other organs and kidney failure.

The two categories of glomerulonephritis being acute and chronic, in acute condition, it starts due to an infection like a strep throat or an abscessed tooth and caused by problems with the immune system overreacting to the infection which could disappear without any treatment. If the condition prevails, immediate treatment would be essential to prevent any long term damage to the kidneys.

Genetic Disease – Hereditary Nephritis Development

Illness which trigger acute glomerulonephritis include systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE or lupus, amyloidosis which are proteins that are deposited in organs and tissue that are harmful, Wegener’s granulomatosis which causes inflammation of the blood vessels, polyarteritis nodosa which is a disease wherein the cells attack arteries, strep throat and Goodpasture’s syndrome which is a rare autoimmune disease where the antibodies attack the lungs and the kidneys.

Over a period of time, the chronic form may develop with no or few symptoms which could cause irreversible damage to the kidneys leading to complete kidney failure. It could also at times be caused by genetic disease and hereditary nephritis develops in young men having poor vision and hearing. Immune disease could also be the cause of chronic glomerulonephritis where a history of cancer could also be a risk factor.

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