Acute Nephritis also called as Bright’s Disease, is a disease causing inflammation in the kidneys. Kidneys, the two bean shaped organs are filters of the body and they remove waste from the system, in a sophisticated way. Per day, around 200 quarts of blood is processed by the kidney. Around 2 quarts of excess water and waste products are removed by the kidneys. When kidneys get inflamed suddenly it leads to acute Nephritis.
Causes of acute Nephritis are several. If not treated on time, it could lead to failure of kidneys. Acute Nephritis is of several types, including Interstitial Nephritis, Pyelonephritis and Glomerulonephritis. In the case of Interstitial Nephritis, spaces between the two tubules of the kidneys get inflamed leading to swollen kidneys. Pyelonephritis is condition in which the kidneys get inflamed due to infection by bacteria. The infection initiates within the bladder, spreads to the ureters which are the two tubes for urine transportation from each kidney to the bladder. Then the infection passes to the kidneys. Glomerulonephritis is an acute nephritis that causes inflammation in the Glomeruli. Within each kidney are capillaries in millions. Tiny clusters of capillaries, called Glomeruli transport blood and work as filtering units. Proper blood filtration does not take place when Glomeruli is inflamed or damaged.
What causes acute interstitial nephritis?
Every acute Nephritis type has its own cause. Interstitial Nephritis is caused by an allergic reaction to an antibiotic or medication. When the body responds immediately to the foreign substance it causes an allergic reaction making the body attack itself and in the process lead to inflammation. Other causes of Interstitial Nephritis are low potassium levels in the blood and taking medications for long periods, causing damage to kidneys.
Pyelonephritis is caused by infection by bacteria called Escherichia Coli, found in the large intestine, primarily. The bacteria could travel to the kidneys and bladder from the urethra, thus causing Pyelonephritis. Other causes of Pyelonephritis include surgery of the ureters, kidneys or bladder. Besides urinary examination, by using cystoscope or rock like kidney stones containing waste material and minerals can also be detected.
Glomerulonephritis is caused by a history of cancer, immune system problems or an abscess that breaks and travels through the blood to the kidneys.
The risk for acute Nephritis exists in people having urinary tract surgery, in people taking too many pain medications or antibiotics, in people having disease of the immune system or people with a family history of kidney infection and kidney disease.
Symptoms of acute Nephritis include burning sensation or pain while urinating, high blood pressure, pelvic pain, fever, frequent urge to urinate, vomiting, cloudy urine, swelling in the feet, legs and face, pain in the abdomen or kidney area or pus or blood in the urine.
Diagnosis includes physical examination and checking out medical history by the doctor. Lab tests, blood tests, renal ultrasound, renal biopsy and CT scan are methods of determining acute Nephritis.
Acute Nephritis is treated with prescription antibiotics to treat infection in the kidneys. Intravenous antibiotics are given if infection is serious. Medications may be prescribed by the doctor for pain relief as the patient recovers. Corticosteroids are prescribed by the doctor in case of severely inflamed kidneys. Supplements like phosphorous and potassium pills may be given to balance impact of electrolytes in the body. Temporary or permanent Dialysis is necessary in case kidney functioning is significantly impaired due to infection. During the recovery, bed rest is also recommended by the doctor.