What is it?

Nephritis, also known as glomerulonephritis, is an inflammation of the nephrons, the functional units of the kidneys. This condition can adversely affect kidney function. Nephritis is divided into several types, including: acute glomerulonephritis – an acute inflammation that can develop after an infection of hepatitis, HIV, or streptococcus. Lupus nephritis – lupus is an autoimmune disease, a group of diseases in which the immune system attacks body cells. In lupus nephritis the immune system attacks the glomerulus and causes inflammation. Hereditary nephritis – also called alport syndrome, a genetic disease, can lead to kidney failure, and vision and hearing problems. Chronic glomerulonephritis – a nephritis that develops slowly and causes few symptoms. IgA nephropathy – a common form of nephritis, develops when IgA antibody deposits build up in the kidneys and form inflammation. Interstitial nephritis – a nephritis which usually occurs due to infection or medication. It affects the interstitium of the kidney, a fluid-filled area.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Chronic glomerulonephritis

Signs & symptoms

The symptoms of nephritis may include changes in urinating habits (more or less frequent), edema (especially of parts in the body, usually the legs, hands, groin, and face), changes in urine color or texture (foamy urine), blood in the urine.


Nephritis can be suspected in a blood or urine test. Finding protein in the urine can imply on malfunction of the kidneys. A blood test that measures blood creatinine, a waste product in the blood, can also provide information on the function of the kidneys. The best way to diagnose nephritis is a biopsy of the kidney.


The treatment for nephritis may vary according to the cause and type. While some types may resolve only with supporting treatment like acute nephritis, other may require ongoing medical treatment of diuretics in the case of chronic nephritis.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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