Introduction to Glomerulonephritis

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Introduction to Glomerulonephritis

The human body had two bean shaped kidneys that are located just below the rib cage on both side of the spine. The kidneys are vital organs that perform many functions to keep the body clean and chemically balanced.

Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli of the kidneys. Glomeruli are tiny fibres in the kidneys that helps remove excess electrolytes and waste products from the bloodstream and passed through into the urine. It can be acute or chronic. Severe glomerulonephritis can prolong the inflammation and cause damage to the kidneys.

Different types and causes of Glomerulonephritis

Few types and causes of Glomerulonephritis are:

  1. Autoimmune

There are some autoimmune conditions such as Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) or Vasculitis in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Glomerulonephritis may develop if the kidneys’ filtering system is targeted.

  1. Antibody-mediated

The most common type of antibody-mediated is IgA nephropathy. It can be associated with celiac disease, liver disease or HIV infection. Immunoglobulin A is another type of antibody-mediated that helps fight off infections. Due to certain infections, it can deposit in the kidney, leading to Hematuria. Antibody-mediated is less common, but associated with severe complications.


  1. Prior infection

Streptococcal infections such as strep throat may cause hypertension, kidney failure and dark urine. Glomerulonephritis following a streptococcal infection is common among children.

  1. Membranous Glomerulonephritis

Membranous Glomerulonephritis is a condition that can cause leakage of protein into the urine. It may develop with Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) or without Systemic Lupus Erythematous.

  1. Idiopathic Glomerulonephritis

There is no apparent reason for idiopathic glomerulonephritis’s occurrence. However, it may possibly occur when an undetected or undiagnosed infection leads to kidney failure or inflammation.

  1. Bacterial endocarditis

Sometimes, bacteria such as Sepsis can lodge in the heart, causing an infection in one or more of the heart valves. A person with a heart condition (damaged or artificial heart valves) are at greater risk of developing Glomerulonephritis.

Triggers for Glomerulonephritis

Few conditions that can trigger acute glomerulonephritis are:

  1. Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE)
  2. Amyloidosis (Proteins deposited in organs and tissues, which can cause harm to the body)
  3. Wegener’s Granulomatosis (A rare condition that can cause inflammation of the blood vessels)
  4. Polyarteritis Nodosa (A condition in which the cells attack the arteries)
  5. Goodpasture’s Syndrome (An autoimmune condition in which the antibodies attack the kidneys and lungs)
  6. Strep throat
  7. Too much use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to relieve pain.

According to experts, it is still unknown that why chronic glomerulonephritis develops. It can be caused due to certain genetic diseases such as immunological conditions, cancer, hereditary nephritis or exposure to hydrogen solvents.

Signs and Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis

Few signs and symptoms of Acute Glomerulonephritis are:

  • Decease in urination
  • Oedema in the face
  • Haematuria (dark urine)
  • Hypertension
  • Excess fluid in the lungs causing coughing

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

If left untreated, Glomerulonephritis can lead to kidney failure. Few symptoms associated with kidney failure are:

  • Dry an itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps at night
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting