What Is Nephritis?

Nephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys. It can be caused by a number of things, including infection, toxins, certain medications, some diseases, and autoimmune diseases. It’s usually treated with medication and lifestyle changes, but can cause serious complications if not managed properly.

Signs & Symptoms Of Nephritis

Symptoms of nephritis vary depending on the cause. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the side or abdomen
  • Worsening blood pressure
  • High levels of protein in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Swelling in the legs, feet, or hands
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the kidneys
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever

Causes Of Nephritis

The causes of nephritis vary depending on the type. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Some infections, such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and hepatitis B.
  • Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs.
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, such as arsenic and lead.
  • A genetic condition known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop nephritis, but some people are at a higher risk. These risk factors include:

  • A family history of kidney disease.
  • Being of African-American or Native American descent.
  • Age – nephritis is more common as people age.
  • Having diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Smoking or excessive alcohol use.
  • Being exposed to certain toxins and chemicals.