Dr. Rajalakshmi VK (AIIMS)MBBS

December 11, 2018

March 06, 2020


What is nephritis?

Nephritis is a condition in which one or both kidneys are swollen and inflamed. Kidneys are a vital organ in the human body as they help in clearing out excess water along with other waste products and retain necessary materials like protein in the body. Damage to the kidneys causes our body to lose essential nutrients like proteins through the urine. Nephritis is of two types:

  • Glomerulonephritis, in which the glomeruli are inflamed, affecting the filtering of waste and water from the body.
  • Interstitial nephritis, in which the interstitium, i.e., the spaces between the tubules in the kidneys are inflamed, affecting kidney function.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The symptoms of nephritis are:

What are its main causes?

Although the exact causes of nephritis are not clear, they may vary depending upon the type of nephritis.

 Glomerulonephritis may be caused by:

  • A dysfunction in the immune system
  • History of cancer
  • Exposure to hydrocarbon solvents
  • Disorders of the blood or lymphatic system
  • Viral infections, heart infection, and abscess
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Disorders affecting the basal layer of glomeruli, which play a role in filtration
  • Kidney diseases due to excessive use of painkillers

Interstitial nephritis may be caused by:

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Glomerulonephritis can be diagnosed with the help of:

  • Abdominal CT scanning
  • Chest X-rays
  • Ultrasound imaging of the kidneys
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • Urine test to detect creatinine clearance, protein, red blood cells, uric acid, etc.

Interstitial nephritis can be diagnosed with the help of:

  • BUN and creatinine levels in the blood
  • Complete blood count
  • Ultrasound imaging of the kidneys
  • Urine test
  • Kidney biopsy

Treatment of both types of nephritis depends on the cause of the condition. Controlling the causes can help in the management of the condition. Some measures that help in the management of nephritis are:

  • Limiting salt intake to manage blood pressure
  • Limiting protein intake to control waste production
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anti-hypertensive medications (Read more: High blood pressure treatment)
  • Kidney transplantation or dialysis may be needed in case of kidney 


  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Glomerulonephritis.
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Interstitial nephritis.
  3. Kidney Health Australia [Internet]: Melbourne Victoria; Nephritis – Glomerulonephritis.
  4. Center for Parent Information and Resources [Internet]: Newark, New Jersey; Nephritis.
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Lupus and Kidney Disease (Lupus Nephritis).

Medicines for Nephritis

Medicines listed below are available for Nephritis. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.