Victor Carabello, MD
Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA
Glomerulonephritis develops when the tiny filters inside your kidneys become damaged or inflamed and can no longer remove waste and excess fluid from your blood efficiently or effectively. Left untreated, it can lead to a wide range of serious complications. At Carabello Kidney in East Los Angeles, California, dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, treats glomerulonephritis aggressively to prevent kidney failure and dialysis. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
What is glomerulonephritis?
Glomerulonephritis is a form of kidney disease that occurs when the thousands of tiny filters in your kidneys (glomeruli) are scarred and inflamed. When these filters are damaged, your kidneys lose their ability to remove waste and extra fluid from your blood and make urine.
Glomerulonephritis can come on quickly (acute) or develop gradually (chronic):
This form of kidney damage occurs suddenly. In some cases, it’s a secondary effect of a bacterial infection like strep throat or endocarditis; in other cases, it’s caused by a viral infection like hepatitis C.
Acute glomerulonephritis can also be triggered by an inflammatory autoimmune disease like lupus or caused by exposure to toxins.
Inflammatory blood and lymphatic system disorders can lead to chronic glomerulonephritis, a disease that develops slowly and silently until damage is significant. Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetic kidney disease also damage glomeruli gradually.
Sometimes, chronic glomerulonephritis occurs years after an acute attack that was resolved. Often, its underlying cause is unknown.
What are the symptoms of glomerulonephritis?
Inflamed or damaged glomeruli can’t effectively filter toxins, metabolic wastes, and excess fluid out of your blood. They may also actively shed blood and protein into your urine.
While specific symptoms depend on the underlying cause and general nature (acute or chronic) of the condition, common signs of glomerulonephritis include:
- Urinating more or less often than normal
- Urine that’s brown, pink, or red with blood
- Urine that’s foamy from excess protein
- Swelling of the face, legs, ankles, or feet
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive fatigue, nausea, or a skin rash
If you have one or more of these symptoms, see Dr. Carabello right away. He can usually diagnose the condition through blood tests and a kidney biopsy.
How is glomerulonephritis treated?
If it’s mild, acute glomerulonephritis may clear up on its own without treatment. In more severe cases, however, it may require medication or even temporary treatment with an artificial kidney machine (hemodialysis) to remove extra fluid, control high blood pressure, and prevent kidney failure.
Your treatment plan may include medications to help resolve or manage the underlying cause, along with medications to treat and control inflammation. To slow the progression of chronic glomerulonephritis and prevent complications, you may be asked to:
- Cut down on sodium, potassium, and protein in your diet
- Keep your blood pressure under control with medication
- Take diuretics to remove excess fluids from your body
Dr. Carabello treats glomerulonephritis aggressively, monitors your kidney function closely, and explores every option to prevent dialysis. This includes participating in clinical trials to give patients with severe chronic glomerulonephritis the best chance of success.
To learn more, call Carabello Kidney or book an appointment online today.