Nephritis: what is it, types, symptoms and treatment

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Nephritis is a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the renal glomeruli, the structures that form part of the kidneys that are responsible for filtering and eliminating toxins and other components of the body such as water and mineral salts. In these cases, the kidney has less capacity to filter the blood. In this way, the most common symptoms include a decrease in the cantidad de orina, bleeding from the piernas and bleeding in the orina, for example.

Most of the cases of nephritis occur due to a serious infection, drug use or poisoning, known as acute nephritis. However, inflammation can also arise due to the presence of other diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV infection, for example, resulting in chronic nephritis.

When there is a suspicion of nephritis, it is very important to go to the hospital or consult a nephrologist to confirm the diagnosis and start the treatment as soon as possible, in order to avoid serious complications such as anemia or renal failure.

main symptoms

The symptoms of nephritis can be:

  • Decreased quantity of urine;
  • Orine reddened;
  • Excessive sweating, especially on the face, hands and feet;
  • Hinchazón de los ojos or de las piernas;
  • Increase in blood pressure;
  • Presence of blood in the orina.

With the appearance of these symptoms, you should immediately go to a nephrologist to carry out diagnostic tests such as a urine test, ultrasound or computerized tomography in order to identify the problem and start the appropriate treatment.

In addition to these symptoms, in chronic nephritis there may be loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, comession and calambres.

possible causes

There are several causes that can lead to the appearance of nephritis, such as:

  • overuse of medication, as some analgesics, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, anticonvulsants, calcineurin inhibitors such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus;
  • infections by bacteria, viruses and others;
  • autoimmune diseases, like systemic lupus erythematosus, Syndrome of Sjögren, systemic illness associated with IgG4;
  • Prolonged exposure to toxins such as lithium, plomo, cadmium or aristolochic acid.

Asimism, people with various types of nephropathy, cancer, diabetes, glomerulopathies, HIV, sickle cell disease have a greater risk of suffering nephritis.

types of nephritis

The main types of nephritis according to the affected area or cause are:

  • glomerulonephritiswhere inflammation mainly affects the first part of the filtration apparatus, the glomerulus, which can be acute or chronic;
  • Interstitial nephritis or tubulointerstitial nephritiswhere inflammation occurs in the tubules of the kidneys and in the spaces between the tubules and the glomerulus;
  • lupus nephritiswhere the affected part is also the glomerulus and is caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which is a disease of the immune system.

Nephritis can be acute when it appears quickly due to a serious infection, such as a throat infection caused by Streptococcus, hepatitis or HIV; it can be chronic when it develops slowly due to more serious injuries in the kidneys.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment depends on the type of nephritis and, therefore, if it is an acute nephritis, the treatment can be successful with absolute rest, blood pressure control and salt consumption reduction. If the acute nephritis was caused by an infection, the nephrologist may prescribe an antibiotic.

In cases of chronic nephritis, in addition to controlling blood pressure, the treatment is usually with the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone, immunosuppressants and diuretics on a diet with restriction of salt, proteins and potassium.

You should consult a nephrologist regularly to follow up on the illness, because chronic nephritis can cause chronic renal failure, which means that the kidneys stop working properly, accumulating toxins in the body that are eliminated through the urine.

Learn more about the symptoms of chronic renal failure.

How to prevent nephritis

To avoid the emergence of nephritis, you should avoid cigarettes, reduce stress and avoid taking medication without medical advice, as many of them can cause damage to kidneys.

People who have illnesses, especially those with the immune system, must carry out proper treatment and regularly consult a doctor, so that their blood pressure is evaluated and regular exams are carried out to find out how their kidney function is doing. The doctor can also recommend changes in the diet, such as eating less protein, salt and foods that contain potassium.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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