Glomerular Disease Overview
Glomerular disease is a kidney disease characterized by damage to the glomeruli. The latter is present in the kidneys and involves several blood vessels in the form of a network. These blood vessels act as cleaning units of the kidneys. They cleanse the blood by filtering waste and liberating excess fluids from it.
An individual suffers from glomerular disease when the glomeruli stop functioning due to serious damage. As far as the damage to the glomeruli is concerned, it can happen due to several conditions or diseases. In broad terms, the damages to the glomeruli can be classified under two categories. These include glomerulonephritis (inflammation), and glomerulosclerosis (hardening or scarring).
The glomerulus is attached to the tubule which is a small tube-like organ that collects fluids. A single unit of a tubule is called a nephron. Overall, there are at least a million nephrons that work together for the proper functioning of each glomerulus and kidney. The primary function of the glomeruli is to filter excess water and waste and move them to the tubule which then turns it into urine. Glomerular disease impairs the functioning of the glomeruli.
How Glomerular Disease Affects the Functioning of the Kidney
The disease of the glomeruli prevents each glomerulus from functioning normally. Each of these units ensures the circulation of blood cells and protein in the bloodstream. When an individual suffers from glomerular disease, protein (albumin), as well as blood cells, enter the bloodstream. The filtering and liberation of protein in this way causes inflammation of ankles, abdomen, feet, hands, and face.
Furthermore, glomerular disease damages the glomeruli to the point that it renders each glomerulus incapable of filtering out waste products. As a result, waste products start accumulating in the bloodstream.
Causes of Glomerular Disease
Glomerular disease in an individual can be the outcome of several factors. These include the following:
The Signs of Kidney Disease
Like most diseases, glomerular disease can also be identified by certain indicators. Individuals who suffer from it show some kidney problem symptoms. These include the ones given below.
Diagnosis of Glomerular Disease
The diagnosis of the disease begins with a visit to your doctor. They will carry out a thorough physical examination of your body and go through your medical history to determine the necessary tests for the diagnosis of the glomerular disease. In most cases, they order the following tests:
Based on these tests, your doctor will determine the GFR (glomerular filtration rate). If it indicates kidney damage, they will also recommend the following tests:
Kidney Disease Treatment
The treatment of glomerular disease begins after its diagnosis. The objective of treating the disease is to treat an underlying cause that is responsible for it. The treatment options for different autoimmune diseases include the following: