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Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a primary or secondary autoimmune renal disease characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli . The glomeruli are very small, important structures in the kidneys that supply blood flow to the small units in the kidneys that filter urine, called the nephrons. Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease that hampers your kidneys' ability to remove waste and excess fluids. Also called glomerular disease, glomerulonephritis can be acute, referring to a sudden attack of inflammation, or chronic, which comes on gradually. Salt and excess fluid can build up, leading to complications such as high blood pressure and possibly kidney failure. Glomerulonephritis may be short-lived ( acute ) and need minimal treatment. It may be present for many years without causing trouble, or it can develop into a long-term ( chronic ) condition. There are other conditions that cause glomerulonephritis and swelling in the kidneys such as infection, tumour growth, or disease within the kidney from long-term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin. Glomerulonephritis is more common in men than women. It often affects children and young people.

Acute glomerulonephritis refers to a specific set of renal diseases in which an immunologic mechanism triggers inflammation and proliferation of glomerular tissue. Each of the kidneys contains approximately 1 million miniature filtering units, called nephrons. The inflammatory process usually begins with an infection or injury (e.g., burn, trauma), then the protective immune system fights off the infection, scar tissue forms, and the process is complete. Glomerulonephritis often follows an infection such as an infection of the throat (pharyngitis). Causes are infectious (bacterial, viral or parasitic pathogens), autoimmune or paraneoplastic .Some of these diseases are systemic (i.e., other parts of the body are involved at the same time) and some occur solely in the glomeruli. Glomerular disease can be part of a systemic disease, such as lupus or diabetes, or it can be a disease by itself primary glomerulonephritis. The total volume of blood in the body passes through the kidneys over 300 times a day. This ensures any waste products and excess water are removed from the body.

Causes of Glomerulonephritis

The common Causes of Glomerulonephritis :

  • The most common cause is postinfectious Streptococcus species (ie, group A, beta-hemolytic).
  • Vasculitis (e.g., Wegener's granulomatosis, periarteritis nodosa).
  • Cryoglobulinemia.
  • Bacterial causes other than group A streptococci may be diplococcal, streptococcal, staphylococcal, or mycobacterial.
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.
  • The edema first collects in those sites where tissue resistance is low, such as the periorbital area.
  • Goodpasteur's syndrome (membranous antiglomerular basement membrane disease).

Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis

Some Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis :

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dark or smoke-colored urine
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pains
  • Weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Muscle cramps
  • Need to urinate at night
  • Frequent hiccups

Treatment of Glomerulonephritis

  • Treatment of secondary membranous nephropathy is guided by the treatment of the original disease
  • For treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy, the treatment options include immunosuppressive drugs and non-specific anti-proteinuric measures.
  • In most patients, acute glomerulonephritis is not an acute life-threatening emergency if the patient has normal vital signs and lacks underlying illness.
  • 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 .
  • Dialysis or kidney transplantation may be necessary to control symptoms of renal failure and to sustain life.
  • Hospitalization is required for diagnosis and treatment of many forms of acute nephritic syndrome.
  • Corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory medications may be used to reduce inflammation.
  • In the presence of fluid overload, diuretics may be used to increase output with urination.
  • For glomerulonephritis, treatment consists of antibiotics for any bacterial infection and rest.

 


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