Nephritis refers to inflammation of one or both kidneys. It can be caused by infection, but is most commonly caused by autoimmune disorders that affect the major organs. For example, those with Lupus are at a much higher risk for developing nephritis. In rare cases, this condition can be genetically inherited, though it may not present in childhood.
This condition can be very serious, and in some cases, is even deadly. It is associated with a condition called proteinuria , in which kidneys excrete protein from the body into the urine . When this happens, several serious side effects can occur, including blood clots which can lead to a stroke.
Nephritis causes additional problems like water retention , as the kidneys cannot function properly to rid the body of water. Water retention or edema , can further cause swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, and hands. This secondary symptom is usually treated with diuretics like Lasix®, generic name furosemide, which can help to reduce edema and pain associated with swelling.
Primarily, nephritis tends to be treated with antibiotics and also occasionally with steroids, particularly in those cases thought to be caused by lupus. This condition is incurable when associated with lupus, but it can go into remission. Roughly half the cases associated with lupus, and with the inherited form, go into remission.