Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of glomeruli [the tiny filtering units in your kidney ). When this inflammation becomes severe and persists for a long, it can damage your kidneys. Furthermore, long-term and untreated glomerulonephritis can lead to end-stage kidney disease.

As you know kidney damage is slow and progressive, you will not get any clue about your kidney’s health unless you get tested. Therefore, Screening for Kidney Disease is important.

If the nephrons of your kidneys don’t work properly:

  • Wastes and toxic substances accumulate in the bloodstream
  • Proteins leak through urine
  • Blood pressure increases

Note: Glomerulonephritis inhibits the kidney’s role in regulating blood pressure. Therefore, your blood pressure increases, if you have this condition.

What is the risk if you have diabetes and high blood pressure?

If you have uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure, you will develop diabetic kidney disease.

Learn more about Diabetic Kidney Disease 

Diabetic Kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure making the situation worse. It can eventually lead to scarring of glomeruli resulting in poor and declining kidney function.

What are the possible complications if you have glomerulonephritis?

Acute kidney failure: Glomerulonephritis can cause a rapid and sudden decline in kidney function. It can become life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Chronic kidney disease:  If Glomerulonephritis is left untreated it can cause chronic kidney damage and scarring which can lead to chronic kidney disease.

Progressive chronic kidney disease will lead to severe kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease. At this stage, dialysis becomes a necessity to save a life.

High blood pressure: Glomerulonephritis can lead to increased blood pressure.

Proteinuria (protein leaks in urine): When kidneys function declines and deteriorate progressively, protein leaks into the urine. High blood pressure can cause worsening protein leaks in urine. Large amounts of protein leak in urine can cause swelling of the face, hands, feet, and abdomen.

How will you know whether you have glomerulonephritis?

Glomerulonephritis can develop due to vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels) viral or bacterial infections and other autoimmune conditions (Lupus, IgA nephropathy).

Some of the symptoms you  may develop include fever, body rash, joint pains, blood in the urine, nasal congestion, swelling of feet, nausea or vomiting

Acute glomerulonephritis can come on suddenly whereas chronic develops gradually over a period of time. You may not develop any symptoms even if you have a chronic condition.

In most cases, the first clue that you may have kidney disease comes from the results of urine tests. ( CUE-Complete urine analysis)

What are the signs and symptoms of glomerulonephritis?

In general, the typical signs and symptoms of glomerulonephritis include:

  • Passing less urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Bubbly or foamy urine
  • Hematuria (blood in urine) – pink-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of face or legs
  • Fever

Bottom Line

You can develop glomerulonephritis due for many different reasons.  Glomerulonephritis also runs in families.

Early detection and early treatment save lives and kidneys!

Therefore, if you are at risk or have any of the symptoms please consult your nephrologist today!