Glomerulonephritis: is inflammation of the glomerulus.
Inflammation is the body’s response to an intruder, such as bacteria. The
body’s defense system is very complex and difficult to understand and at
this time beyond the scope of our library. Briefly,
our immune system walls off the area that is infected (caused by bacteria)
in an attempt to keep the intruder from spreading to other areas of the
body. It is usually very effective at this, but at times becomes
overwhelmed, and antibiotics are required. As the area is walled
off, warriors come to the area to fight the bacteria. There are numerous
types of warriors and they use different means to accomplish the task of
killing the intruders. Now that you have some idea what inflammation
is (I hope) let’s talk about the
glomerulus. The glomerulus is within bowmans capsule located
in the kidney. It is located at the beginning of the nephron and
it’s function is filtration. It consists of a membrane ( a thin, soft,
pliable tissue) that is permeable to water, but does not allow larger particles
such as proteins to pass.
This too is a very simplified version of what is taking place in the
kidney. The kidney’s function is to save things the body needs and
to excrete things it does not need.
Causes- The most frequent cause is abnormalities of the immune
system, although other causes include drugs, toxins, and vascular disorders.
Acute glomerulonephritis- is frequently associated with streptococcal
infection (bacteria) of the throat or skin. From 7 to 10days after
the bacterial infection there is a sudden onset of the disease. Symptoms
occur 10 to 21 days after the initial infection. They include: blood,
protein, and casts from red blood cells in the urine. There is usually
a marked decrease of urine output. Edema, usually around the eyes
and high blood pressure.
Treatment- there is no specific treatment for this type of glomerulonephritis.
Most people, especially children recover without significant loss of function
of the glomerulus.