What causes glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis is caused by inflammation of the glomeruli, the filtering structures within the kidney. Inflammation can arise from a variety of conditions, often autoimmune and genetic in origin. Exposure to certain chemicals and infections can also lead to glomerulonephritis. Sometimes, the precise cause of glomerulonephritis is not known.
Genetic, autoimmune, and inflammatory causes of glomerulonephritis
Certain genetic conditions, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune disorders can cause glomerulonephritis including:
- Amyloidosis (rare immune-related disorder characterized by protein buildup in organs and tissues that can cause serious complications)
- Antiglomerular basement membrane antibody disease
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (type of scarring of the glomeruli)
- Goodpasture’s syndrome (rare disease leading to kidney failure and lung disease)
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura (uncommon cause of blood vessel inflammation)
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (kidney damage associated with an abnormal antibody)
- Lupus nephritis (complication of systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (changes in the structure of the glomeruli)
- Polyarteritis (inflammation of arteries)
- Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (complication of strep throat or skin bacterial infection)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
Other causes of glomerulonephritis
Glomerulonephritis can arise from a variety of other causes including:
- Certain toxins such as hydrocarbon solvents
- Diabetes (chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to use sugar for energy)
- Other causes not known
What are the risk factors for glomerulonephritis?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing glomerulonephritis. Not all people with risk factors will get the disease. Risk factors include:
- Family history of autoimmune disorders
- Family history of diabetes
- Personal medical history of cancer
- Recent infection
- Regular exposure to chemicals such as hydrocarbon solvents
What is glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammatory disease of the kidneys, specifically the glomeruli. The glomeruli are the part of the kidneys in charge of filtering waste from the bloodstream. Glomeruli can become inflamed for a variety of reasons. Once inflamed, the glomeruli cannot filter waste properly and become leaky, which allows protein and blood to pass into the urine.... Read more about glomerulonephritis introduction
What are the symptoms of glomerulonephritis?
Symptoms of glomerulonephritis are usually progressive (worsen over time). They result from the kidneys’ inability to filter the blood and an increased leakiness of the glomeruli, which allows waste to build up in the bloodstream and blood and protein to pass into the urine. Sometimes, glomerulonephritis may be symptomless. In other cases, symptoms of glomerulonephritis can be severe and progress very quickly.... Read more about glomerulonephritis symptoms
How is glomerulonephritis treated?
Early glomerulonephritis may not require treatment. In some cases, it spontaneously resolves. For symptomatic glomerulonephritis, treatment depends on the cause of the glomerulonephritis. One of the primary goals of glomerulonephritis treatment is controlling blood pressure to avoid further damage to the kidneys.... Read more about glomerulonephritis treatments