What is Nephritis?

Nephritis is a general term used to describe a group of diseases that cause swelling or inflammation of the glomerulus in the kidneys. This disease reduces the kidney’s ability to filter waste from blood. These two bean-shaped kidneys that humans have are a sophisticated waste removal system. Kidneys process 120 to 150 quarts of blood/day and remove up to 2 quarts of waste products and excess water. Acute Nephritis is observed when the kidneys suddenly become inflamed. It has several causes and can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. Nephritis Meaning: Inflammation of kidneys due to infection or several other factors.

Nephritis Causes

There are several causes behind Nephritis. These can be due to infection or toxins, however, it is commonly caused by autoimmune disorders that affect the major organs like kidneys.

  • PyeloNephritis is an inflammation that occurs due to a urinary tract infection that reaches the renal pelvis of the kidney.

  • Lupus Nephritis is the inflammation of the kidneys caused by a disease of the immune system called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

  • Athletic Nephritis occurs due to strenuous exercise. Bloody urine after strenuous exercise may also result from March haemoglobinuria. It is caused by rupturing red blood cells, due to trauma leading to the release of hemoglobin into the urine.

Types of Nephritis

A summary of several types of Nephritis are described below:

  • Acute GlomeruloNephritis: This type of  Nephritis can develop suddenly after a severe infection, such as strep throat, hepatitis etc. Lupus and rarer disorders, such as vasculitides and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), can also be the cause for acute inflammation of the kidneys. Prompt medical attention should be given to the patient else it can lead to kidney damage.

  • Lupus Nephritis: It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. The disease occurs when the immune system attacks the kidneys. It is mostly seen in people suffering from Lupus.

The Symptoms of Lupus Nephritis include:

  • Foamy urine.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet.

  • Joint problems.

  • Fever.

  • Rashes.

The disease does sometimes go into remission; the condition can become serious. It is vital for anyone experiencing symptoms of lupus Nephritis to seek prompt medical attention to reduce kidney damage.

  • Hereditary Nephritis: Also known as Alport syndrome, this disease can lead to kidney failure, as well as hearing and vision problems. The condition is passed on in the genes, and it is usually severe in men.

  • Chronic GlomeruloNephritis: This form of chronic Nephritis develops slowly and causes few symptoms in its early stages but can cause severe kidney damage if the symptoms are not well-diagnosed and the condition is left untreated. 

  • IgA Nephropathy: It is a very common form of Nephritis and develops when IgA antibody deposits build up in the kidneys and cause inflammation. The immune system forms antibodies to fight harmful substances and organisms that enter the body. People with IgA neuropathy have defective IgA antibodies. It is not generally observed in young people, as the early symptoms are easy to miss. The condition can be treated with blood pressure medications.

  • Interstitial Nephritis: It can develop very rapidly and usually occurs due to infection or a particular medication. It affects the interstitium, which is a fluid-filled space of the kidney. If the affected individual gets off the problematic medication quickly, a full recovery is possible within a few weeks.

Nephritis Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Nephritis are:

  • Pain in the pelvis.

  • Pain in the kidney area or abdomen.

  • Pain or a burning sensation while urinating.

  • Frequently I need to urinate.

  • Cloudy urine.

  • Blood or pus in the urine.

  • Swelling in the face, legs, and feet.

  • Vomiting.

  • Fever.

  • High blood pressure.

Nephritis Diagnosis

Finding protein in the urine can indicate that the kidneys are not functioning properly. A blood test measuring a waste product in the blood called creatinine can also provide information on the health of the kidneys. Another important indicator is blood urea nitrogen.

However, a biopsy is the most efficient way to check for Nephritis. A renal biopsy involves testing an actual tissue sample from the kidney; this test isn’t performed on everyone. This test is performed if a person isn’t responding well to treatments, or if a doctor must definitively diagnose the condition.

A CT scan or renal ultrasound can show a blockage or inflammation of the kidneys or urinary tract.

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Nephritis Treatment

There are several types of Nephritis and each has different characteristics. The best course of treatment can only be decided after the Nephritis has been correctly identified by examining the sample removed by a kidney biopsy. There are various types of Nephritis which require observation but no treatment and rarely lead to long‐term kidney damage.

Other people may need blood pressure medication. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have proven to be an effective treatment for both decreasing blood pressure and reducing the amount of protein in the urine. Reducing blood pressure and the amount of proteinuria is associated with improved outcomes. A diuretic is often prescribed as well. If kidney function is severely impaired dialysis may be needed.

What are the Functions of Kidney and Why is it an Important Part of Our Body?

Kidneys are one of the most important parts of our body, why? Because they help a human being balance the amount of water in their body, remove excessive amounts of water from the body, and add water when needed.

Kidneys also produce hormones that course through the veins and circulate the blood and maintain the blood pressure. Kidneys remove inefficient materials from the body. When consuming food, kidneys help that food break into protein and the remnants of that food as waste such as urea, creatinine and uric acid. 

The kidney also maintains minerals in our body and it needs to be kept at a proper level. It maintains minerals such as sodium (salt), potassium, etc. Kidneys also remove extra sodium and potassium from the body. 

As stated earlier, kidneys are one of the most important parts of the body because if a human being doesn't keep their kidneys' healthy it can cause problems such as 

  • Kidney failure

  • Kidney disease

  • Heart attack 

  • Strokes

  • High blood pressure

Now that students know why they must keep their kidneys healthy.

Tips to keep Kidneys Healthy

Here are a few tips to keep the kidneys healthy 

  • Keep the sodium use at low 

  • Check the blood pressure 

  • Check for diabetes 

  • Drink water properly

  • Say no to alcohol

  • No smoking 

  • Keep visiting the Doctor 

  • Look forward to exercising and better food 

If the kidney problem is in the family history it is advised to start visiting a Doctor and sort it out as soon as possible.


Kidney stones happen because of minerals such as calcium stones, uric acid, struvite and cystine. Calcium stones are the most common stones that affect the kidneys' health. 

Next is chronic kidney disease(CKD) 

What is Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD)?

  • What does it do? When a kidney has CKD it does not properly filter the blood, meaning the kidneys are damaged, and it gets vulnerable.  

  • There are types of other kidney diseases such as kidney infection, kidney cancer, kidney injuries and hundreds of more kidney problems. 

  • If students want to learn more about other topics in Biology and score good marks in the tests, they can visit Vedantu's website where they can find the best answers and solutions. They can also visit Vedantu's app for more convenience.

  • These study notes are a great source of learning that saves time and helps students learn specifically about exactly what they want. And vedantu can help with these notes, even more, because these notes are more precise and simple so anyone can learn easily. 

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