Basics of Glomerular Disease
What is Glomerular Disease?
Glomerular disease is an ailment that disturbs normal functioning of the kidneys. As we all know, kidneys are one of the most critical human organs. These are part of the urinary tract system, and it is the organ that produces urine in our body. There are two kidneys in our body and each of them consists of two parts:
● One part of the kidney functions to filter out wastes from blood. These waste and excess are salt and water.
● Another part of the kidneys is responsible for the collection of urine.
What happens to kidneys when affected by glomerular disease?
It is the part of the kidneys that removes excess salt and water from the blood. Resultantly, normal functioning of the kidneys gets badly affected and substances such as blood and protein start getting into the urine.
Progression of Glomerular disease
Progression of Glomerular disease can be either slow or quick.
Kinds of Glomerular disease
Glomerular disease is of different types. Each type of Glomerular disease has different causes.
This disease can be quite problematic at times. The most serious of the conditions can affect kidneys badly and may even result in the total stoppage of their functioning. Sometimes, it can also be the prime cause of chronic kidney disease and kidneys can stop working.
Symptoms of Glomerular disease
Symptoms are varied and the manifestation of this disease depends on two factors – one is the kind of the glomerular disease the patient has and another is what were the causes of the disease.
On the other hand, it is also observed that the disease has no symptoms in some patients and in such cases, the disease is found only through a urine examination which may be prescribed for another reason or symptom other than those of glomerular disease.
Glomerular disease symptoms include:
● Blood in urine which is detected when patient micturates red, pink, or brown colored urine
● Hands, face, feet, or belly has significant swelling
● Less than normal amount of urine
Tests for Glomerular disease
Blood and urine tests prescribed by a doctor can detect the disease easily. Generally, the amount of blood or protein in urine is an indication that the kidneys are not working properly or are not working normally.
Further tests are then prescribed by the doctor to find out which type of glomerular disease the patient has. The tests can be one or more of these:
● Blood tests which can identify the causes and other diseases or medical condition that can manifest in glomerular disease
● Ultrasound of the kidney – This is a test which grabs multiple images of the kidney using sound waves.
● Biopsy of the Kidney – The doctor takes sample tissue from the kidney during the biopsy procedure. This is done by inserting a thin needle in the kidney by the doctor and pulling out a tissue sample for examination. The sample is then examined under a microscope for diagnosis.
Glomerular disease Treatment
Treatment of Glomerular Disease depends a lot on the symptoms, its causes, and the progression of the disease.
Generally, mild glomerular disease does not require any special treatment or no treatment at all. However, a regular follow up of the condition is required.
On the other hand, in some cases some kinds of glomerular disease require no treatment and they go away on their own. Sometimes, some glomerular diseases triggered by infection in other parts of the body go away when the infection in that part is treated.
When required glomerular disease treatment can include:
● Use of Steroids – Special and prescribed steroids control and reduce kidneys inflammation.
● Use of Medicines to ‘suppress’ the body’s immune system. These medicines include cyclophosphamide (brand name: Endoxan) or azathioprine (sample brand name: Azoran) – These “immunosuppressant” medicines and steroids can be taken together.
● High blood pressure – antihypertensives
● Diuretics used for more urination
● Plasmapheresis – In this treatment, a machine acting as a pump gradually takes out blood from the body, filters the substances which are harming the kidney and then repumps the filtered blood back into the body.
In patients who have failed or almost failing kidneys need “renal replacement therapy” which is a combination of three treatment procedures. These are:
● Hemodialysis – In Hemodialysis, a machine acting as a pump gradually takes out blood from the body, filters it and then repumps that filtered blood back into the body. This procedure is carried out three times in a week.
● Peritoneal dialysis – Peritoneal dialysis is a simple procedure that can be carried out by people at home on a daily basis. In this, a tube carries a special fluid directly into the belly. Waste, excess salt and water is collected by this fluid from the blood and it is then drained out of the belly.
● Kidney Transplantation – it is a surgical procedure involving replacing the diseased kidney with a healthy kidney.