Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease Glomerulonephritis is a disease that involves inflammation of the glomeruli a” the filtering units of the kidneys. This inflammation and subsequent damage to the glomeruli affects their ability to filter waste products and excess water from the blood. Glomerulonephritis may be either acute, with a sudden onset of inflammation, or chronic, involving persistent inflammation that comes on more gradually. Many people with glomerulonephritis have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are often flu-like, such as general fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, and abdominal and joint pain.
These types of general symptoms can continue for up to one month before symptoms of kidney failure appear. Patients whose kidneys are failing will produce only small amounts of urine and have swelling (edema) from fluid build-up. Symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis usually occur around two to three weeks after a streptococcal infection and begin with swelling. They can progress to high blood pressure, visual disturbances, shortness of breath, blood in the urine, and a reduction in urine production.Glomerular disease can be part of a systemic disease, such as lupus or diabetes, or it can be a disease by itself primary glomerulonephritis.
There are several types of glomerulonephritis; some are more serious and long-term than others. Glomerulonephritis often follows an infection such as an infection of the throat (pharyngitis). Glomerulonephritis can be caused by various disorders, such as infections, an inherited genetic disorder, or autoimmune disorders. Glomerulonephritis can be a complication of streptococcal infections, including strep throat, particularly in children ages 6 to 10. Less often, it results from other bacterial or viral infections, especially measles, mumps, mononucleosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Other causes include some problems with the immune system (especially those involving immunoglobulin A antibodies), systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or lupus), and inflammation of the kidney’s blood vessels (vasculitis). Glomerulonephritis can develop over a short time period (acute glomerulonephritis) or develop and progress slowly (chronic glomerulonephritis). Treatment varies depending on the cause of the disorder, and the type and severity of symptoms. High blood pressure may be difficult to control, and it is generally the most important aspect of treatment.
If a bacterial infection is still present when acute glomerulonephritis is discovered, antibiotic therapy is started. Antimalarial drugs may be beneficial if the cause of the syndrome is malaria. Various antihypertensive medications may be used to attempt to control high blood pressure. Corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, or other medications may be used to treat some of the causes of chronic glomerulonephritis. There is no specific prevention of glomerulonephritis. Some cases may be prevented by avoiding or limiting exposure to organic solvents, mercury, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics.