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What Is Chronic Nephritis?

Chronic Nephritis is a chronic kidney problem in which kidney tissues are injured due to renal inflammation. It also can be called Chronic Glomerulonephritis. In medicine, there are different types of Chronic Nephritis. For patients, they often experience different symptoms in early stage with different types of nephritis, but if they fail to receive effective treatment timely, they will finally suffer from End Stage Renal Disease (Kidney Failure).

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Tests and Diagnosis of Chronic Nephritis

Commonly used tests in diagnosing Chronic Nephritis include urine test:

Urine Test: Urine test is a must for the diagnosis of Chronic Nephritis. A urinalysis may show red blood cells and red cell casts in the urine, which is an indicator of possible damage to the glomeruli. Also, through urine test, we can find out if there are excess white blood cells. If yes, it may indicate infection or inflammation.

Blood Test: Blood test helps to learn about the levels of waste products in the blood such as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen. Usually, the higher the level, the poorer the kidney function.

Imaging Tests: In some cases of Chronic Nephritis, imaging tests like kidney X-ray, an ultrasound examination or a computerized tomography (CT) scan are needed to know more about kidney damages.

Kidney Biopsy: Kidney biopsy involves a special needle which is used to extract small pieces of kidney tissues for microscopic examination. This test helps determine the cause of the inflammation and also it is almost always necessary to confirm a diagnosis of glomerulonephritis.

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What Causes Chronic Nephritis?

In about 15%-20% cases, Chronic Nephritis results from an acute nephritis, but most of the times, Chronic Nephritis develops gradually from a low-grade infection. Toxins, or auto-immune disease. For instance, people with lupus are at a much higher risk for developing Nephritis and Chronic Nephritis caused by lupus is also called Lupus Nephritis.

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Symptoms And Signs of Chronic Nephritis

As we have mentioned above, there are different types of Chronic Nephritis in medicine. And with different kinds of kidney problem, patients may experience different symptoms in early stage. However, no matter how, they will finally suffer from the following signs or discomforts if effective treatment is not given timely:

1. Foamy urine/bubbly urine/proteinuria

2. Swelling/edema/fluid retention

3. High blood pressure

4. Urine changes like blood urine, dark-orange urine, tea-colored urine and so on

5. Tiredness/fatigue

6. Digestive discomforts like poor appetite, nausea and vomiting

7. Skin problem like dry skin, yellow skin and itchy skin

8. Bone discomforts like bone pain, bone fracture and osteoporosis

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Treatment Options for Chronic Nephritis

Chronic Nephritis is a kidney problem related with inflammation in kidney. In medicine, Immunosuppressive agents are the most commonly used medicines for blocking inflammation in kidney. All drugs work effectively and quickly, but disappointedly, if used for a long time, patients will be susceptible to various infections or many other illness due to the impaired or restrained immune system.

Immunosuppressive Agents: Immunosuppressive agents are necessary and helpful for Chronic Nephritis patients, but this does not mean they must rely on these drugs. In medicine, there are some other alternative treatments can be applied and these treatments have been proven to be effective in improving kidney function and managing Chronic Nephritis.

Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy: Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy is a herbal treatment and it is suggested for Chronic Nephritis patients, as one of its major function is anti-inflammation. In this treatment, different herbs are used and some of them can help to restrain inflammation in kidney, which is extremely essential for preventing further kidney damages. Moreover, micro-Chinese medicine also helps to expand blood vessels, prevent coagulation and degrade extracellular matrix, all of which are beneficial for Chronic Nephritis patients. Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy is a natural treatment as it causes no side effects during the whole treatment process, so it can be used as an alternative treatment for Chronic Nephritis patients.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is another available treatment for Chronic Nephritis. It is a combination of Chinese medicine and western medicines which are used to in different stages to achieve different purposes. In this treatment, Immunosuppressive agents may also be used, but these drugs are used temporarily. Usually, when illness condition gets stable, alternative medicines like some herbs will be used. By combining Chinese medicines and western medicines, Chronic Nephritis can be treated well without causing side effects or discomforts.

Polluted Blood Therapy: Polluted Blood Therapy is suggested when Chronic Nephritis develops to kidney failure stage, but patients still have a certain kidney function. Different from the above several treatments, Polluted Blood Therapy focuses on treating polluted blood and rebuild kidney function by restoring patients' coagulation systems, hematopoietic system, secretion and compensatory mechanism of the body.

Dialysis and Kidney Transplant: Dialysis and Kidney Transplant are conventional and also the last treatment options for Chronic Nephritis patients whose kidneys have been injured completely. They are helpful and can help to sustain patient's life effectively.

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Dietary Principles of Chronic Nephritis

For Chronic Nephritis patients, arrangement of diet must be based on their specific illness condition. Due to the difference of illness, they may follow on different dietary principles, but they generally need to:

1. Adjust protein intake: proteinuria occurs when glomerular filtration membrane is damaged. Protein is must for a healthy body, but for Chronic Nephritis patients, if they ingest too much protein a day, their proteinuria will be worsened, which may lead to the further progression of kidney problem. Therefore, adjusting protein intake is essential for Chronic Nephritis patients. For patients who have not started dialysis, they need to reduce protein intake according to their illness, but for these who are on dialysis, ingesting much more protein is necessary.

2. Reduce salt intake: Slat is the high in sodium. High salt intake cause further buildup of sodium and water in the body, which not only elevates blood pressure, but also worsen swelling. For this reason, staying away from processed foods and pickled foods is necessary.

3. Choose low-potassium foods if lab tests show high level of potassium in blood. To control potassium level in blood, high potassium foods like banana, while beans and dark leafy greens need to be avoided.

4. Avoid high phosphorus foods and eat much more high-calcium foods. High phosphorus level is always accompanied with low calcium level in blood. For Chronic Nephritis patients, they run a high risk for high phosphorus level and low calcium level in blood, so measuring phosphorus level and calcium level regularly to adjust diet is very necessary.

5. Drink less water if there is swelling or edema symptoms. How much water to drink everyday is based on patient's specific illness condition.

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