10 Symptoms of glomerulonephritis You Should Never Ignore

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10 Symptoms of glomerulonephritis You Should Never Ignore

Glomerulonephritis is a condition that affects the kidneys, specifically the glomeruli, which are tiny units within the kidneys that filter waste and excess fluids from the blood. When the glomeruli become inflamed, it can lead to a range of symptoms that can affect a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Recognizing the symptoms of glomerulonephritis is important for seeking prompt medical attention and treatment.

In this article, we will explore the various symptoms of glomerulonephritis, which can range from mild to severe, and discuss the importance of early detection and management of this condition.

1. Hematuria

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is a common symptom of glomerulonephritis. The inflammation of the glomeruli can cause the kidneys to leak blood into the urine, resulting in a pink, red, or cola-colored appearance. The presence of blood in the urine may be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in severity. It is important to seek medical evaluation if hematuria is present, as it can indicate an underlying kidney condition.

Other possible causes of hematuria include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and various kidney diseases. Therefore, a thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider is necessary to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment for hematuria.

2. Proteinuria

Proteinuria, or the presence of excess protein in the urine, is another common symptom of glomerulonephritis. The inflammation of the glomeruli can cause damage to the filtration system of the kidneys, leading to the leakage of protein into the urine. This can result in foamy or frothy urine, and may also be accompanied by swelling in the legs, feet, or face.

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Proteinuria is an important indicator of kidney damage and may be present in various kidney diseases, diabetes, and other underlying health conditions. It is essential to have a healthcare provider evaluate proteinuria to determine the cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

3. Edema

Edema, or swelling in the body, is a common symptom of glomerulonephritis and is often associated with proteinuria. The leakage of protein into the urine can lead to a decrease in protein levels in the blood, resulting in a decrease in osmotic pressure and fluid retention in the tissues. This can cause swelling in the legs, feet, or face, which may worsen throughout the day and improve overnight.

It is important to monitor and report any significant or persistent edema to a healthcare provider, as it can be a sign of kidney damage and may require medical intervention to prevent further complications.

4. Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a symptom of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where the condition has led to reduced kidney function. The inflammation and damage to the glomeruli can affect the kidneys’ ability to regulate blood pressure, leading to an increase in blood pressure levels.

Uncontrolled hypertension can exacerbate kidney damage and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other health complications. Therefore, it is important to regularly monitor blood pressure levels and seek medical treatment for hypertension as part of the management of glomerulonephritis.

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5. Fatigue

Fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where kidney function has been significantly compromised. The buildup of waste products and toxins in the body due to reduced kidney function can lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, and overall malaise.

It is important to address feelings of fatigue and weakness with a healthcare provider, as they can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and may require medical management and support.

6. Urinary Changes

Changes in urinary frequency and volume can be indicative of glomerulonephritis. Some individuals may experience decreased urine output, while others may have increased or frequent urination. These changes in urinary patterns can be a result of impaired kidney function and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

It is important to monitor and report any significant changes in urinary habits to a healthcare provider, as they can provide valuable insights into the functioning of the kidneys and overall health status.

7. Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where kidney function has been significantly compromised. The buildup of waste products and toxins in the body due to impaired kidney function can lead to feelings of nausea and may also result in vomiting.

It is important to address symptoms of nausea and vomiting with a healthcare provider, as they can impact a person’s overall health and may require medical intervention and management.

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8. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath can be a symptom of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where kidney function has been significantly compromised. The buildup of fluid in the lungs due to impaired kidney function can lead to feelings of shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

It is important to seek medical attention for symptoms of shortness of breath, as they can be indicative of serious health complications and may require immediate intervention and support.

9. Decreased Appetite

Decreased appetite and a general feeling of malaise can be symptoms of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where kidney function has been compromised. The buildup of waste products and toxins in the body due to reduced kidney function can lead to a decrease in appetite and a lack of interest in eating.

It is important to address changes in appetite and nutritional intake with a healthcare provider, as they can impact a person’s overall health and wellbeing and may require medical management and support.

10. Joint Pain

Joint pain and swelling can be symptoms of glomerulonephritis, particularly in cases where the condition has led to systemic effects and inflammation in the body. The underlying inflammation and immune response involved in glomerulonephritis can lead to joint pain and swelling.

It is important to seek medical evaluation for symptoms of joint pain and swelling, as they can be indicative of underlying health complications and may require medical intervention and management.