Glomerulonephritis is also known asglomerular nephritis (GN) or glomerular disease. It is a disease of the kidney, characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli. Glomeruli are very small blood vessels in the kidneys that act as tiny little filters - there are about one million glomeruli in each kidney. The disease damages the kidneys' ability to remove waste and excess fluids from the body.
People can develop glomerulonephritis on its own, in which case it is called primary glomerulonephritis. If it is caused by another disease, such as diabetes or lupus, infection, or drugs it is called secondary glomerulonephritis.
Haematuria and proteinuria are the classical symptoms.
Oedema and shortness of breath
Trachycardia and elevated blood pressure
Diagnosis of Glomerulonephritis
It is not uncommon for a patient to have no signs and symptoms and find out he/she has glomerulonephritis after a check-up or tests linked to hypertension, or fatigue - or during routine antenatal check-ups.
Renal function tests
The patient will likely be advised to reduce fluid intake and refrain from consuming alcoholic drinks or those with a high salt or potassium content.
The patient may be referred to a dietitian who will give advice on potassium and salt intake, among other things.
If blood urea nitrogen is elevated and oliguria is present, dietary protein must be restricted. Picture