Chronic glomerulonephritis


Chronic glomerulonephritis is a kidney condition characterized by long-term inflammation and damage to the glomeruli, which are tiny blood vessels in the kidneys responsible for filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood. Glomerulonephritis refers to inflammation of the glomeruli, and when this inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to persistent kidney damage and impaired kidney function.

The exact cause of chronic glomerulonephritis can vary and may include immune system disorders, infections (such as streptococcal infections), genetic factors, or certain medications. In some cases, the cause may remain unknown (idiopathic).

Over time, the chronic inflammation in the glomeruli can lead to scarring (fibrosis) and thickening of the glomerular walls. This disrupts the normal filtration process and impairs the kidneys’ ability to remove waste products and excess fluid effectively. As a result, the accumulation of waste products can lead to various symptoms and complications.

Common symptoms of chronic glomerulonephritis may include blood in the urine (hematuria), foamy urine (due to protein leakage), decreased urine output, high blood pressure (hypertension), swelling (edema) in the hands, feet, or face, fatigue, and frequent urinary tract infections.

Diagnosis of chronic glomerulonephritis typically involves a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, blood tests (to evaluate kidney function and detect abnormalities), urine tests (to assess protein and blood levels), and imaging studies (such as kidney ultrasound or biopsy) to examine the structure and function of the kidneys.

Treatment for chronic glomerulonephritis aims to slow down the progression of kidney damage, manage symptoms, and prevent complications. Depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition, treatment options may include medications to control blood pressure and reduce inflammation, dietary changes (such as reducing salt and protein intake), and, in advanced cases, renal replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplantation) to replace lost kidney function.

Early detection and proactive management of chronic glomerulonephritis are crucial to slow down disease progression and preserve kidney function. Regular monitoring by a nephrologist and adherence to treatment plans can help individuals with chronic glomerulonephritis manage their condition effectively and maintain a good quality of life.