This is an inflammation of the nephrons in the kidney. Nephrons filter and eliminate waste products from the body, regulating the concentration of substances in the blood (e.g. water and sodium).
Nephritis can be due to a number of different factors, such as infection, toxins/medication and autoimmune diseases (e.g. lupus).
If left untreated, nephritis can eventually result in renal failure. A summary of pathological symptoms and causes are as follows (see definitions at the bottom if necessary):
Oliguria and uraemia/azotaemia due to reduced glomerular blood flow (as it becomes inflamed); haematuria as tissue of glomeruli is damaged; oedma and hypertension as renal blood flow is low; proteinuria (often causes the urine to become foamy) as the absorption of the kidneys is poor and filtration is impaired.
The treatment of nephritis depends on the type and cause of the condition. The aim is to reduce inflammation, limit the damage to the kidneys and support the body until kidney function is back to normal. This may include medication (such as steroids and antibiotics), a restricted diet and in severe cases; dialysis. In adults there is a 1 in 3 chance they could develop chronic nephritic kidney disease, which would require permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Uraemia/azotaemia - retention of waste products (retained in blood)
Haematuria - excessive presence of blood in urine
Proteinuria - excessive presence of protein in urine
Oliguria - low urinary output
Oedema - swelling/fluid retention
Hypertension - high blood pressure
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