Glomerulonephritis

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Overview

Glomerulonephritis (gloe-MER-u-loe-nuh-FRY-tis) is inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomeruli). The excess fluid and waste that glomeruli (gloe-MER-u-lie) remove from the bloodstream exit the body as urine. Glomerulonephritis can come on suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic).

Glomerulonephritis is inflammation and damage to the filtering part of the kidneys (glomerulus). It can come on quickly or over a longer period of time. Toxins, metabolic wastes and excess fluid are not properly filtered into the urine. Instead, they build up in the body causing swelling and fatigue.

Symptoms

Pink or cola-colored urine from red blood cells in your urine (hematuria)

Foamy or bubbly urine due to excess protein in the urine (proteinuria)

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Fluid retention (edema) with swelling evident in your face, hands, feet and abdomen.

Urinating less than usual.

Nausea and vomiting.

Causes

Toxins or medicines.

Viral infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses.

IgA nephropathy.

Lupus-related kidney inflammation.

Bacterial infections that commonly cause throat and skin infections, such as strep or staph bacteria.

Risk factors

A family history of kidney disease.

Past or current kidney problems.

Having other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Taking certain medicines.

Exposure to toxins.

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Complications

high blood pressure.

high cholesterol.

blood clots – including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism.

damage to other organs.

chronic kidney disease.

kidney failure.

Prevention

There is no proven way to prevent glomerulonephritis, though some practices may help: Eat a healthy, unprocessed food. Manage high blood pressure with a low salt diet, exercise and medication. Prevent infections by practicing good hygiene and safe sex.

To prevent infections that can lead to some forms of glomerulonephritis, such as HIV and hepatitis, follow safe-sex guidelines and avoid intravenous drug use. Control high blood pressure, which lessens the likelihood of damage to your kidneys from hypertension.