Nephritis is a kind of kidney damage associated with chronic inflammation and swelling in the different parts of the kidney. Depending upon which part of the kidney is being affected, such as, glomeruli, interstitial tissue, etc. Studies have indicated toxic overload and viral infections to be the primary culprits; in disease manifestation. However, in many people, who appear to be normal and healthy; faulty regulation of the immune system, may halt normal functioning of the kidney, causing it to be swollen and inflamed.
The disease is often likely to be ignored in the initial phase of life, mainly because of non-exhibition of any specific symptoms; however, if not treated within specific time frame, it may turn into fatal conditions that are identified to be renal syndromes.
Renal syndrome or nephritis syndrome can be grouped as a collection of various signs and symptoms, with nephritis affecting different parts of the kidney. Accordingly, different types of nephritis can be noted, as follows:
Although, in a broader sense, nephritis can be categorized into two leading types, acute and chronic forms. The acute form of nephritis can have sudden development, due to throat infection, skin infections, etc. It has been evident that this form of nephrotic inflammation often subsides, once infection is being treated. Further to which, several forms of acute nephritis have been detected recently, and can be noted as:
- Interstitial Nephritis: Associated with inflammation of the interstitial spaces of the kidneys, causing them to swell.
- Pyelonephritis: It is associated with overall swelling of the kidney, due to bacterial infection. In wide variety of cases, the infection is originated in the bladder and migrated towards the kidneys through ureters.
- Glomerulonephritis: This type of nephritis is associated with the inflammation of glomeruli. They are the tiny filtering devices of the kidneys, made up of millions of capillaries and blood vessels; and are destined to filter blood and excessive body fluids.
If these above, mentioned forms, remain untreated for longer period of time; the issue may progressively worsen to be chronic form of nephritis, which apparently leads to complete kidney failure.
Risk factors for Nephritis
Certain people are categorized under high risk individuals, to be affected with kidney disorders, due to some specific risk factors, such as:
- Genetic predisposition
- Suffering with autoimmune disorders, like Lupus
- Consumption of antibiotics and/or pain medications
- Recent surgery
Symptoms of Nephritis
Since, there are various disorders, associated with kidney damage that have been grouped under nephritis; symptoms that have been exhibited are often variable. However, some of the commonly reported symptoms can be as follows:
- Pelvic pain
- Unexplained burning sensation
- Frequent need to urinate
- Hazy, cloudy urine
- Blood and/or pus in the urine
- Pain in the kidney area and/or abdominal pain
- Unusual swelling of the body, especially in the common areas like face, legs and feet
- Vomiting, fever and high blood pressure
Conventionally, the common treatments that can be offered to patients for chronic nephritis can be oral steroidal medicines, electrolytic pills, and dialysis; however, these treatments that are offered have their own limitations and side effects.
However, with the recent advancements in stem cells science and regenerative medicine; it is now possible to restore lost kidney function, via stem cells therapies. Stem cells have been identified as body’s own master cells, with the ability to create very own cellular data base. In the sense, if sent through proper signaling pathways, stem cells would be able to differentiate into any other cell type. This unique property of stem cells can be utilized for various therapeutic applications, like failing kidney, wherein damaged cells due to diseased condition can be regenerated or replaced with healthy ones, after administration of enriched cocktail of body’s own stem cells.
Thus, stem cells and their promising applications in regenerative medicine has proven to be a breakthrough, which can alter conventional need for organ replacement.