Understanding Glomerular Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Glomerular disease refers to several conditions that affect the glomeruli, which are tiny structures in the kidneys responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluid from your blood to form urine. Glomerular diseases can result from various causes, including autoimmune disorders, infections, genetic factors, and certain medications. Examples of glomerular diseases include glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, and diabetic nephropathy.

If you want to know more about glomerular disease, visit us at Doral Health and Wellness Urology Center and consult with the best nephrologists and urologists in East New York.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of glomerular disease can vary depending on the specific condition and its severity. Common symptoms may include:

  • Proteinuria — This condition is when there is excessive protein in your urine, which may cause foamy urine.
  • Hematuria —This is a condition where there is blood in your urine, which can make your urine appear pink, red, or cola-colored.
  • Edema — When there is swelling, particularly on your face, hands, feet, or abdomen, due to fluid retention.
  • Hypertension  — High blood pressure, which can be a result of impaired kidney function.
  • Decreased kidney function — This can lead to symptoms such asa fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and changes in urine output.

 

Causes

As for the causes, glomerular diseases can result from various factors, which can include:

  • Autoimmune disorders — Conditions where your immune system mistakenly attacks the glomeruli, such as lupus nephritis or anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) disease.
  • Infections — Certain infections, such as streptococcal infections, hepatitis B and C, and HIV, can lead to glomerular disease.
  • Genetic factors — Some glomerular diseases have a genetic component, such as Alport syndrome or familial nephritis.
  • Diabetes — Diabetes mellitus, especially uncontrolled diabetes, can cause diabetic nephropathy, a type of glomerular disease.
  • Medications — Certain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain antibiotics, and some chemotherapy drugs, can cause glomerular damage.
  • Other conditions — Conditions like IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) can also lead to glomerular disease.

These are just a few examples, and the specific cause of glomerular disease can vary widely among individuals. Proper diagnosis and treatment by a healthcare professional are essential for managing the condition effectively.

 

Treatment

Treatment options for glomerular disease depend on the specific underlying cause, the severity of the condition, and individual patient factors. Here are some common treatment approaches:

  • Medications
    • Corticosteroids — These drugs help reduce inflammation and suppress your immune system’s abnormal response in autoimmune glomerular diseases.
    • Immunosuppressants — Medications like cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, and azathioprine may be used to suppress your immune system in certain autoimmune glomerular diseases.
    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) — These medications help control blood pressure and reduce proteinuria in glomerular diseases, particularly those associated with hypertension or diabetes.
    • Diuretics — These drugs help reduce fluid retention and manage edema associated with glomerular disease.
    • Anticoagulants — In certain cases, blood-thinning medications may be prescribed to prevent blood clots in your kidneys, especially in conditions like membranous nephropathy.
  • Lifestyle modifications
    • Dietary changes — A low-sodium diet can help you manage fluid retention and hypertension.
    • Fluid intake — Monitoring and adjusting fluid intake may be necessary to manage fluid balance, especially in cases of severe edema or kidney dysfunction.
    • Regular exercise — Physical activity can help you manage your blood pressure and improve overall health, but it’s important to consult your medical provider before starting an exercise program.
  • Treatment of underlying conditions
    • Management of diabetes — Tight control of blood sugar levels is important in diabetic nephropathy to slow the progression of kidney damage.
    • Treatment of infections — Antibiotics or antiviral medications may be prescribed to treat infections contributing to glomerular disease.
    • Immunotherapy — In some cases, targeted therapies or biologic agents may be used to modulate your immune response in autoimmune glomerular diseases.
  • Dialysis or kidney transplantation
    • In advanced cases where kidney function is severely compromised, dialysis or kidney transplantation may be necessary to replace your lost kidney function and maintain overall health.

 

It’s important to note that if you have glomerular disease work closely with your medical team, including nephrologists, to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Regular monitoring and follow-up are also important to assess treatment efficacy and adjust the management approach as needed.

If you suspect or have symptoms for glumeral, consult your medical provider immediately and have yourself checked. At Doral Health and Wellness Urology Center, our team of urologist will work with you in managing your disease and your quality of life. To schedule an appointment, please visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212 or call 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://www.urologistbrooklyn.com/.