When the part of the kidney that filters blood – the glomeruli – is inflamed, it is called glomerulonephritis. This disease prevents the kidney from doing its job of getting rid of wastes and extra fluid in the body.
If glomerulonephritis continues and is not treated, the kidneys could be permanently damaged or stop working altogether – leading to kidney failure.
Below, we discuss the two types of this kidney disease, treatment options, and who can help you manage the condition.
Types of Glomerulonephritis
The two main types of glomerulonephritis are acute and chronic.
The acute form of this kidney condition develops very quickly, with small signs and minimal symptoms. Some of the symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis include puffiness in the face, bloody or brown urine, less urinating, shortness of breath, cough, or high blood pressure.
It can be contracted after an infection in the throat or on the skin. It can also be caused by infections like strep throat, lupus, Goodpasture’s syndrome, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and polyarteritis nodosa.
Sometimes, the body can heal this disease on its own; other times, your kidneys will require treatment quickly so you do not start to experience kidney failure. To prevent kidney failure, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial.
Chronic glomerulonephritis can develop unnoticed over the course of several years. This type is highly likely to lead to complete kidney failure.
Early signs and symptoms of this kidney disease are blood or protein in the urine that can also be bubbly or foamy, increased blood pressure, swelling in the ankles or face, or frequent urination – especially at night.
If the kidneys have already started to fail, an individual may experience lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, dry and itchy skin, and muscle cramps. This type can seem genetic because it’s prevalent in the family’s medical history. It can also be a result of changes in the immune system.
Usually, the cause is unknown. What is known is the importance of controlling your blood pressure – this can help slow down kidney damage. Diet can be a huge factor in controlling this, so it’s a good idea to meet with a dietitian who is trained to work with kidney patients to build a beneficial, tasty diet plan.
Treatment Options for Kidney Disease
Acute kidney disease sometimes goes away on its own. Other times, if it’s caught quickly enough, medication can help prevent the condition from progressing further.
If it’s in a later stage of disease, temporary treatment with an artificial kidney machine may be required to help remove extra fluid, control high blood pressure, and prevent kidney failure.
For a chronic form of the illness, since the causes are typically unknown, your doctor may tell you to eat less protein, salt, and potassium. The physician will likely also ask you to monitor your blood pressure, take diuretics, and take calcium supplements.
Kidney Specialists in Massachusetts
If you’re experiencing any issues in your kidneys or urine, or you believe you may have a form of glomerulonephritis, be sure to visit one of our nephrologists at the offices of Commonwealth Nephrology Associates. We are devoted to caring for patients with kidney diseases and related disorders.
Our kidney specialists can offer specialized treatment and improve outcomes. To schedule your appointment, call our offices today at (617) 739-2100 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you feel better so you can have an enjoyable lifestyle.