Glomerulonephritis (gluh-MARE-you-low-ne-FRY-tis) is an inflammation of the glomeruli, the parts of the filtering units (nephrons) of the kidney that contain a network of capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Kidneys filter the blood. The main functional units of the kidney, where the filtering takes place, are called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons, and each nephron has one glomerulus (singular of glomeruli).
Glomerulonephritis damages the glomeruli, causing symptoms such as blood in the urine, foamy urine, and swelling (edema) around the face, eyes, ankles, legs, and abdomen.
Some cases of glomerulonephritis get better on their own. Others respond well to treatment, and most of the time, any damage done to the kidneys heals completely. Only in rare cases does glomerulonephritis cause long-term kidney problems.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|National Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.|
|Nephron Information Center The Nephron Information Center offers information about how the kidneys work, transplants, and links to other sites.|
|American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) The AAKP serves kidney patients and their families by helping them cope with the emotional, physical, and social impact of kidney failure.|
|Kidney Disease Sometimes, the kidneys aren't able to do their job properly. Other than kidney infections, the two most common kidney conditions among teens are nephritis and nephrosis.|
|Flash Interactive: Body Basics: Kidneys and Urinary Tract You need at least one kidney to live. Find out why in this article for kids.|
|A to Z: Nephrotic Syndrome Learn about conditions that affect the kidneys and urinary tract.|
|A to Z: Hematuria (Blood in Urine) Learn more about hematuria (blood in urine) and how it's treated.|
|Chronic Kidney Diseases Kidneys are about the size of your fist and shaped like beans. What happens when this important pair of organs doesn't work well? Find out in this article for kids.|
|Glomerulonephritis With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.|
|Blood in the Urine (Hematuria) Hematuria is pretty common, and most of the time it's not serious. Find out what causes blood in the urine and what to do about it.|
|Kidney Stones Kidney stones mostly happen to adults, but sometimes teens can get them. Find out what kidney stones are, how to treat them, and ways to help prevent them.|
|Your Kidneys You need at least one kidney to live. Find out why in this article for kids.|
|Kidney Diseases in Childhood The kidneys play a critical role in health. When something goes wrong, it could indicate a kidney disease. What are kidney diseases, and how can they be treated?|
|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, perform several functions essential to health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.|
|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.|
|When Your Child Has a Chronic Kidney Disease Parents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here.|
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