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Glomerulonephritis is a disease in which the minute renal units responsible for filtering, the glomeruli, are damaged, and become irritated and swollen (inflammation). As a result, kidney function is impaired.
Glomerulonephritis is described as acute when it develops suddenly, chronic when it develops over many years.
Sometimes, the exact cause of glomerulonephritis is not known. However, in many cases, it is due to a problem with the immune system. In the majority of cases, it is an autoimmune disease in which the body makes antibodies directed against a specific element of the renal tissue, harming the kidneys and leading to inflammation.
In many cases, glomerulonephritis can be diagnosed via laboratory tests before symptoms and other signs appear. Although it cannot be detected with standard urinalysis, it can be detected early, when it is more amenable to treatment.
In general terms, renal diseases can be prevented by optimal hydration of the kidneys and urinary tracts, e.g. by ingesting sufficient liquids and not using tobacco.
The treatment varies according to the type of glomerulonephritis. Fortunately, in many cases, the disease resolves spontaneously. If not, doctors can do many things to help: