Glomerular disease is a disorder of the kidneys. In this disease, the normal functioning of the kidneys gets disturbed and the chemical balance is not maintained in your blood and urine.
Healthy kidneys extract out toxins and waste materials in the urine and retain red blood corpuscles and proteins in the blood itself. But in case of glomerular disease, toxins are retained in the blood, whereas red blood cells and proteins get filtered out in the urine.
This disorder can be either acute – meaning sudden occurrence or it can be chronic – meaning it builds up over a period. To understand what glomerular disease is, it is important to understand the functioning of kidneys.
The kidneys are bean-shaped fist-sized structures which are located near the rib cage. They have small structures called nephrons, which are filtering units for blood.
These nephrons are made up of glomeruli and tubules. The function of glomeruli is to filter wastes and excess fluids. The function of tubules is to convert wastes into urine. In glomerular disease, the filtration process of the blood gets affected.
Causes of Glomerular Disease
The causes of glomerular disease include:
- Genetic factors
- Thin basement membrane disease
- Post-infectious glomerulonephritis
- IgA vasculitis
- Severe post-infectious glomerulonephritis
- Fibrillary glomerulonephritis
- Mixed cryoglobulinemia
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Membranous nephropathy
- Final stage of post-infectious glomerulonephritis
- IgA nephropathy
- Benign nephrosclerosis
- Primary amyloidosis
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
- Minimal change disease
Risks related with Glomerular Disease
The risk factors for glomerular disease include:
- Kidney diseases and infections
- High blood pressure
- Age above 65
To prevent the chances of glomerular disease follow:
- Healthy lifestyle
- Avoid excessive usage of painkillers
- Regular exercise
- Dietary modification to suit problems like diabetes and high blood pressure
How is Glomerular Disease diagnosed?
The diagnosis of glomerular disease is done using the following methods:
- Urine tests
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests
Symptoms of Glomerular Disease
Some common symptoms of glomerular disease are:
- High blood pressure
- Decreasing frequency of urination
- Fluid retention
- Swelling in lower legs, face, feet and abdomen
- Blood loss in urine
How is Glomerular Disease treated?
The treatment of glomerular disease depends upon the severity of symptoms, the type of disease and the cause of the disease. Your doctor may recommend some medications that comprise of:
Steroids - Immunosuppressant medications like steroids are used to treat glomerular disease. If the disease is found to be rapidly progressive, plasmapheresis is used to remove blood components responsible for inflammation.
High Blood Pressure Management - Management of high blood pressure is important to decrease the damages onto the kidneys. Therefore, drugs are prescribed to decrease the amount of proteins in urine and to decrease the progression of glomerular disease.
Kidney Transplantation - If the functionality of your kidneys is beyond restoration, your nephrologist may suggest a kidney transplantation procedure. In this, a healthy kidney from a donor is transplanted into you by surgical means.