Acute Nephritis: Types, Causes, and Symptoms

overview Your kidneys are your body ’ s filters. These two bean-shaped organs are a sophisticate waste removal system. They process 120 to 150 quarts of blood per day and remove up to 2 quarts of waste products and surfeit water, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases ( NIDDK ). Acute nephritis occurs when your kidneys abruptly become kindle. Acute nephritis has respective causes, and it can ultimately lead to kidney bankruptcy if it ’ south left untreated. This condition used to be known as Bright ’ s disease.

What are the different types of acute nephritis

There are several types of acute nephritis :

Interstitial nephritis

In interstitial nephritis, the spaces between the kidney tubules become inflamed. This inflammation causes the kidneys to swell .


pyelonephritis is an ignition of the kidney, normally due to a bacterial infection. In the majority of cases, the contagion starts within the bladder and then migrates up the ureters and into the kidneys. Ureters are two tubes that transport urine from each kidney to the bladder .


This type of acute nephritis produces ignition in the glomerulus. There are millions of capillaries within each kidney. Glomeruli are the bantam clusters of capillaries that transport rake and behave as filtering units. Damaged and inflamed glomeruli may not filter the lineage properly. Learn more about glomerulonephritis.

What causes acute nephritis?

Each type of acute accent nephritis has its own causes .

Interstitial nephritis

This type often results from an allergic reaction to a medication or antibiotic. An allergic reaction is the body ’ s contiguous reply to a alien meaning. Your sophisticate may have prescribed the medicine to help you, but the consistency views it as a harmful substance. This makes the consistency attack itself, resulting in inflammation. low potassium in your rake is another campaign of interstitial nephritis. Potassium helps regulate many functions in the body, including blink of an eye and metamorphosis. Taking medications for long periods of time may damage the tissues of the kidneys and lead to interstitial nephritis .


The majority of pyelonephritis cases results fromE.coli bacterial infections. This type of bacteria is primarily found in the bombastic intestine and is excreted in your stool. The bacteria can travel up from the urethra to the bladder and kidneys, resulting in pyelonephritis. Although bacterial contagion is the leading causal agent of pyelonephritis, early possible causes include :

  • urinary examinations that use a cystoscope, an instrument that looks inside the bladder
  • surgery of the bladder, kidneys, or ureters
  • the formation of kidney stones, rocklike formations consisting of minerals and other waste material


The independent lawsuit of this type of kidney infection is unknown. however, some conditions may encourage an contagion, including :

  • problems in the immune system
  • a history of cancer
  • an abscess that breaks and travels to your kidneys through your blood

How is acute nephritis diagnosed?

A doctor of the church will perform a physical examination and take a medical history to determine if you could be at an increased risk for acute nephritis. lab tests can besides confirm or rule out the presence of an infection. These tests include a urinalysis, which tests for the presence of blood, bacteria, and white blood cells ( WBCs ). A significant presence of these can indicate an infection. A doctor of the church may besides order blood tests. Two authoritative indicators are blood urea nitrogen ( BUN ) and creatinine. These are neutralize products that circulate in the rake, and the kidneys are responsible for filtering them. If there ’ s an increase in these numbers, this can indicate the kidneys aren ’ triiodothyronine working angstrom well. An imagination scan, such as a CT scan or nephritic sonography, can show a blockage or inflammation of the kidneys or urinary tract. A nephritic biopsy is one of the best ways to diagnose acute nephritis. Because this involves testing an actual tissue sample distribution from the kidney, this test international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine performed on everyone. This examination is performed if a person international relations and security network ’ metric ton responding well to treatments, or if a repair must definitively diagnose the condition.

How is acute nephritis treated?

treatment for glomerulonephritis and interstitial nephritis may require treating the implicit in conditions causing the problems. For exemplar, if a medication you ’ rhenium accept is causing kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe an alternate medicine .


A doctor will typically prescribe antibiotics to treat the kidney contagion. If your contagion is very unplayful, you may require intravenous ( IV ) antibiotics within the hospital inpatient setting. IV antibiotics tend to work faster than antibiotics in pill human body. Infections such as pyelonephritis can cause severe pain. Your sophisticate may prescribe medication to relieve annoyance as you recover. If your kidneys are very inflame, your sophisticate may prescribe corticosteroids .


When your kidneys aren ’ thyroxine working ampere well, it can impact the remainder of electrolytes in your soundbox. Electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, are responsible for creating chemical reactions in the body. If your electrolyte levels are excessively high, your doctor may prescribe IV fluids to encourage your kidneys to release the supernumerary electrolytes. If your electrolytes are low, you may need to take supplements. These could include potassium or morning star pills. however, you shouldn ’ t take any supplements without your doctor ’ s approval and recommendation .


If your kidney officiate is significantly impaired due to your infection, you may require dialysis. This is a process in which a special machine acts like an artificial kidney. dialysis may be a impermanent necessity. however, if your kidneys have experienced excessively much wrong, you may need dialysis permanently .

Home care

When you have acute accent nephritis, your body necessitate time and energy to heal. Your doctor will likely recommend sleep together rest during your recovery. Your doctor may besides advise you to increase your fluid inhalation. This helps to prevent dehydration and keep the kidneys filtering to release waste products. If your condition affects your kidney affair, your doctor may recommend a especial diet low in sealed electrolytes, such as potassium. many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium. Your doctor may instruct you regarding which foods are humble in potassium. You can besides soak some vegetables in water and drain the body of water before cooking them. This process, known as leach, can remove extra potassium. Your doctor may besides recommend cutting binding on high-sodium foods. When you have besides much sodium in your blood, your kidneys hold onto water. This can increase your lineage imperativeness. There are steps you can take to reduce sodium in your diet .

What is the long-term outlook?

All three types of acute nephritis will improve with immediate treatment. however, if your condition goes untreated, you may develop kidney failure. Kidney failure occurs when one or both kidneys stop working for a short time or permanently. If that happens, you may need dialysis permanently. For this reason, it ’ randomness vital to seek immediate treatment for any suspect kidney issues.

Article sources

  • Dialysis. (2015).
  • Glomerular diseases. (2014).
  • Haider DG, et al. (2012). Kidney biopsy in patients with glomerulonephritis: Is the earlier the better? DOI:
  • Haladyj E, et al. (2016). Do we still need renal biopsy in lupus nephritis? DOI:
  • Interstitial nephritis. (n.d.).
  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis). (2017).
  • Top 10 tips for reducing salt in your diet. (n.d.).
  • Your kidneys and how they work. (2014).
  • What is kidney (renal) infection – Pyelonephritis? (n.d.).

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