Lupus nephritis is a problematic condition wherein the kidney is inflamed and this occurs because of systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. This is basically a disease afflicting the immune system. SLE causes problems in joints, kidneys, brain and the skin. Some factors that may be responsible for development of SLE include genetic factors, viruses, gender, infections and environmental causes.
This disease is basically observed when the antibodies and other complements build within the kidneys and these results in swelling. Lupus nephritis causes increased blood pressure, swelling in the eye region, weight gain, dark urine and swelling in the fingers, ankles and the legs. Some people who suffer from SLE do not have any obvious symptoms of possible kidney disease. Any such problems need to be diagnosed with urine and blood tests.
Diagnosis of lupus nephritis can be done by way of some blood as well as urine tests along with kidney biopsy. Presence of protein or blood in urine is a sign of possible kidney damage. Kidneys are responsible for removing waste materials such as urea and creatinine from a person’s blood. If the levels of such substances within the blood increase then it can result in decline in the functioning of the kidneys. Based on the creatinine score the glomerular filtration rate can be determined.
Lupus nephritis can also be diagnosed with the help of a kidney biopsy. In this a tissue sample is obtained and this sample is then examined under the microscope. Such a sample is obtained through the insertion of a needle. Treatment of this disease is based on the symptoms. Corticosteroids may be prescribed as these help in decreasing inflammation by suppressing the immune system.
Immunosuppressive drugs may also be used so as to prevent any rejection of organs if organ transplants are done. If the case of lupus nephritis is severe then the doctor may prescribe mycophenolate or cyclophosphamide. The patient may also require multiple medicines in order to control the blood pressure and patients also need to control the diet and limit the consumption of sodium and protein.
Dialysis may also be needed in some cases so as to control any symptoms of possible kidney failure. Some patients experience acute flare ups and this is followed by a relative symptom free period. Some cases of this condition may result in chronic kidney failure and therefore quire transplant.