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Glomerulonephritis in Children – Causes and Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis in Children

Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disorder that is caused by inflammation of glomeruli. Glomeruli are the filtering units of kidney that filter the excess and waste fluids from the body. It may also lead to kidney failure. Glomerulonephritis can be acute i.e occurs suddenly or chronic i.e develops gradually for some years.

Children between ages 2 to 12 are more prone to acute glomerulonephritis and is more common in boys. People with diseases such as diabetes, lupus or hepatitis are more prone to chronic glomerulonephritis.

Causes of Glomerulonephritis in Children
The exact cause for glomerulonephritis is unknown but it is known to occur as a result of other disease conditions. The causes include:

Streptococcal infection – This is the most common cause of glomerulonephritis. Streptococcal infections such as upper respiratory and throat infections result in acute glomerulonephritis.

Genetic cause – A gene present on X chromosome is responsible for glomerulonephritis. The carrier mothers who do not have any features of the disease pass it on to their sons.

Systemic diseases

  • Henoch-Schvnlein purpura – This disease is associated with small, purple lesions on the skin and internally on the organs. This may lead to glomerulonephritis and commonly seen in children.
  • Wegener vasculitis – This disease leads to widespread inflammation of all organs in the body.
  • Polyarteritis nodosa group – This is an inflammatory disease of the arteries.

Systemic immune diseases – The disease systemic lupus erythematosus is also a cause of glomerulonephritis.

Symptoms of Glomerulonephritis in Children
The following symptoms are observed in a child with glomerulonephritis:

  • Fluid accumulation in the tissues
  • Pale skin color
  • Joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Rash appearance, especially on the legs and buttocks
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Less frequent urination
  • Sore throat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foamy urine

If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, take the child to a doctor immediately for a diagnosis.

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