What is glomerulonephritis? What symptoms does it cause and how is it treated?


Glomerulonephritis or inflammation of the glomeruli is one of the kidney diseases that affects the glomeruli. If you have symptoms of this disease or a suspicious case has been observed in your tests, stay with us in this article. What is glomerulonephritis? What symptoms does this disease cause? Why do some people get this kidney disease? Which factors increase the risk of contracting it? How can this disease be diagnosed? What are the ways to treat it? What happens if there is no treatment? If you have inflammation of the glomeruli or your test results show that you are probably suffering from this disease, be sure to see a urologist. To connect with the best specialists, you can apply through the doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. What is glomerulonephritis (GN)? Glomeruli are structures in the kidneys that are made of small blood vessels and help filter blood and remove waste from the body. Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease that causes inflammation of the glomeruli. This inflammation interferes with the functioning of the system and the disposal of waste materials is difficult. By damaging the glomeruli, the kidneys gradually lose their function and may even lead to kidney failure. GN develops as part of another disease, such as diabetes or lupus. This disease has two different types, which we will explain below. Severe and prolonged inflammations can cause serious damage to the kidneys. Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease. In this disease, the glomeruli are inflamed. Glomeruli are small blood vessels in the kidney that help remove waste products and filter blood. Inflammation in the glomeruli causes kidney dysfunction. Types of glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis is divided into two types, acute and chronic. The causes of the disease and the type of treatment are different in these two types of inflammation. For this reason, it is necessary for the doctor to determine its type first and then start the treatment. Acute glomerulonephritis: when the disease starts suddenly, it is of acute type. Symptoms usually appear in these conditions and the disease is severe. Chronic glomerulonephritis: In some people, the disease starts slowly and takes some time to show itself. Usually, this condition does not have any symptoms and it is determined in the tests that the kidneys are disturbed. In some patients, glomerulonephritis starts acutely and suddenly. But years later, a person may develop a chronic form of the disease. Symptoms of glomerulonephritis The symptoms of GN disease depend on its type. Symptoms are usually as follows. 1. Symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis: facial puffiness, less urination, blood in the urine (the color of the urine becomes dark.) Excess fluid in the lungs that causes coughing. High blood pressure 2. Symptoms of chronic glomerulonephritis: Chronic GN sometimes has no symptoms, and sometimes acute symptoms appear slowly. The most common symptoms of the chronic form of the disease include the following. Blood or excess protein in the urine, which is determined in the urine test. High blood pressure in the ankles and face. Frequent urination at night. Foamy or bubbly urine (due to the presence of protein). Abdominal pain. Frequent nosebleeds. Be sure to see a kidney and urinary tract doctor. You can contact the best doctors through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. According to healthline regarding the progression of glomerulonephritis: If the disease progresses and the kidneys fail, symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, dry and itchy skin, and muscle cramps appear at night. These symptoms should be taken seriously. The presence of blood in the urine is one of the symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis. The cause of glomerulonephritis is very different. In some people, it may be caused by a genetic disorder, and GN disease can be seen among family members. In some other people, the cause is unknown. Usually, the following medical conditions and diseases cause glomerulonephritis. 1. Streptococcal infections: Sometimes a person may develop glomerulonephritis about one to two weeks after a streptococcal sore throat infection or a skin infection caused by this bacterium. This condition is more common in children than adults. Bacterial endocarditis: This disease is an infection in the inner lining of the cavities and valves of the heart. The cause of glomerulonephritis in these patients is still unknown. Kidney viral infections: some viral infections such as hepatitis B and C can cause inflammation of the glomeruli and other kidney tissues. HIV infection: this infection can cause kidney damage and GN disease. Even before contracting AIDS, there is a risk of contracting this disease. 2. Autoimmune diseases When the immune system is disturbed and attacks the organs of the body, glomerular inflammation may occur. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease. Lupus can affect different parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs. Goodpasture’s syndrome: In this disease, the body’s immune system makes antibodies against lung and kidney tissue. Of course, this disease is rare. 3. Vasculitis is the inflammation of blood vessels called vasculitis. Two types of this inflammation can cause glomerulonephritis. Polyarthritis: In this disease, small and medium vessels throughout the body, including the kidneys, skin, muscles, and digestive system, become inflamed. Wegler’s granulomatosis: In this form of vasculitis, small and medium vessels in the kidneys and lungs become inflamed. 4. Sclerotic medical conditions Some diseases cause scarring of the glomeruli. As a result, the function of this structure is disturbed and the kidney is damaged. These diseases include: High blood pressure: In the long term, this disease can cause inflammation and scarring in the glomeruli. Diabetic nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease): High blood sugar causes ulcers in the glomeruli. Also, the blood flow in the nephrons increases. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: In this condition, there are scars in the glomeruli. Sometimes it is caused by another disease and sometimes the cause of its occurrence is unknown. 5. Other causes of glomerulonephritis in rare cases are hereditary among family members. Sometimes this disease is related to cancers such as stomach cancer, lung cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. High blood pressure is one of the causes of inflammation and scarring in the glomeruli. Complications of glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis can affect the ability of nephrons to filter blood. As a result, the following complications appear. Accumulation of waste materials and toxins in the blood, disturbances in the regulation of nutrients and minerals, loss of red blood cells, loss of blood proteins, and GN disease can cause the following complications. Acute kidney failure: This complication is usually seen if the cause of GN is infection. Kidney function may decrease so much that a person needs dialysis. After recovery, the kidneys regain their health. Chronic kidney disease: kidney function may be impaired for three months or more. If it reaches an advanced stage, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed. High blood pressure: damage to the glomeruli causes an increase in blood pressure. Nephrotic syndrome: in nephrotic syndrome, excessive protein is excreted through the urine. This condition causes swelling and increased blood pressure. Diagnosis of glomerulonephritis To diagnose glomerulonephritis, your symptoms are first checked. Then the doctor prescribes the necessary tests to accurately diagnose the disease. The most important test is the urine test. In this diagnostic test, the following factors are checked. The level of total creatinine protein in urine, concentration of urine, the presence of red blood cells in urine, urine osmolality in blood tests, the following factors should also be checked. The level of red blood cells and diagnosis of anemia, abnormal albumin level, abnormal blood nitrogen level, high blood creatinine level, immunology test may be prescribed to check the following factors. This test is done to check the damage to the kidneys due to a disorder in the body’s immune system. Basement membrane antibodies, anti-glomeruli, cytoplasmic antibodies, anti-neutrophil, anti-nuclear antibodies, complement levels, usually the mentioned tests are sufficient to diagnose glomerulonephritis. But sometimes the doctor may prescribe the following tests for a more detailed examination. Kidney biopsy, CT scan, kidney x-ray, chest x-ray, intravenous pyelogram, for timely diagnosis of glomerulonephritis and necessary tests, you should visit a kidney and urinary tract doctor. After examining the symptoms, the specialist prescribes the necessary tests. You can contact the best doctors through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, there is the possibility of online and telephone consultation with a specialist. Treatment of glomerulonephritis The treatment of inflammation of the glomeruli depends on its acute or chronic nature, the cause of the disease and the severity of the symptoms. Usually, acute glomerulonephritis caused by an infection does not need treatment and recovers on its own. If the cause of GN is high blood pressure or an autoimmune disease, necessary measures should be taken to treat the underlying cause. If the progress of the disease is such that a person has kidney failure, the only treatment is dialysis. In kidney failure, this organ loses 85% of its function. Dialysis is a device that filters blood similar to an artificial kidney. The treatment of glomerulonephritis depends on its cause. By treating the underlying disease that is the cause of GN disease, it is possible to help improve kidney function and cure this disease. Glomerulonephritis diet If you have inflammation of the glomeruli or any kind of kidney disease, you should follow the following in your diet. Reduce salt intake. Salt increases fluid retention in the body and blood pressure. Consume less protein and potassium. These substances increase the rate of accumulation of waste materials in the blood. If you have diabetes, you should be very careful in consuming sugar. In addition to following a healthy diet, you should keep your weight within a healthy range. People who have kidney diseases, including glomerulonephritis, should reduce salt in food. Glomerulonephritis in children can affect people of any age group. Usually, in children under 10 years of age, the cause of GN is group A streptococcus infection. This bacteria causes strep throat. Usually, the child has a temporary inflammation of the glomeruli and is cured by itself. Your Frequently Asked Questions If you have glomerulonephritis or a suspicious case has been observed in your tests, you have probably encountered questions about this disease. For this reason, we have raised some of your frequently asked questions and provided their answers. Does glomerulonephritis have a definitive treatment? The treatment of this disease depends on its cause and type of disease. Usually, by treating the cause of GN, the kidneys gradually regain their health. In some cases, the acute type of the disease does not need treatment and is cured by itself. Is blood in the urine a symptom of glomerulonephritis? Blood in the urine can be one of the symptoms of inflammation of the glomeruli, especially in the acute type. In the chronic type, you usually cannot see blood in the urine. But in the urine test, blood is determined. Can high blood pressure be a sign of glomerulonephritis? High blood pressure and glomerulonephritis are directly related. GN disease can cause high blood pressure with the passage of time and the progress of the disease. Also, in people who have high blood pressure, if it is not controlled, the kidneys and glomeruli may be damaged. Is frequent urination a symptom of glomerulonephritis? Frequent urination, especially frequent urination at night, can be a sign of inflammation of the glomeruli. Usually, this complication is not seen in the chronic type of the disease. But in the acute type, the symptoms are more severe and the person experiences frequent urination. Does glomerulonephritis cause kidney failure? This disease can disrupt kidney function. With the passage of time and the progress of the disease, the kidneys lose their function and suffer from failure. In kidney failure, this organ loses at least 85% of its function and requires dialysis. Is itchy skin a sign of glomerular inflammation? This symptom is usually not seen in the early stages of the disease. But when glomerulonephritis progresses and approaches the stage of kidney failure, a person may experience skin itching and dry skin. Which doctor should we see for the diagnosis and treatment of glomerulonephritis? Glomerulonephritis is one of the kidney diseases. In this disease, the glomeruli are inflamed. Glomeruli are blood vessels in the kidney that help filter blood and remove waste products. When this structure is disturbed, waste disposal becomes difficult and the kidneys lose their function. Glomerular inflammation is divided into two types, acute and chronic. Symptoms such as bloody urine, high blood pressure, and facial puffiness are usually seen in the acute form. But its chronic type has no symptoms and sometimes causes mild symptoms. If left untreated, GN can cause acute kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome. This disease can be caused by infection, autoimmune diseases or diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. To treat glomerulonephritis, its cause must be identified and the underlying cause must be treated. You should see a kidney and urinary tract specialist to diagnose the cause of the disease. In order to communicate with the best specialists, you can use the website of Dr. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Your doctor takes care of your health!

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