Causes of Glomerulonephritis

The causes of glomerulonephritis are different for the chronic and acute.

Acute glomerulonephritis is usually caused by minor infections such as strep throat or a skin infection. It may also be caused by other, more serious illnesses such as lupus, Wegener’s disease, Goodpasture’s syndrome and polyarteritis nodosa. Chronic Glomerulonephritis may occur due to changes in the immune system or a genetic predisposition to renal failure and kidney disease. Sometimes, the disease may have no explainable underlying cause. In such cases, the patient may experience hearing or vision loss as well. Glomerulonephritis – both chronic and acute, is often caused by malfunctioning of the body’s immune system. Almost one fourth of the people who develop glomerulonephritis have no history or any kind of kidney disease.

Glomerulonephritis could be caused as a complication of certain infections such as malaria, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Conditions that impair the immune system, such as AIDS and HIV, may also cause chronic or acute glomerulonephritis. Infections of the heart valves, such as endocarditis are also known to be associated with glomerulonephritis. Some people may simply inherit glomerulonephritis. While most types of glomerulonephritis are not hereditary in nature, there are some types of glomerulonephritis which may run in families.

There are certain risk factors which may increase the chances of developing the condition in certain individuals. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Disorders of the lymphatic system
  • Blood disorders
  • Family or personal history of cancer or malignant tumors
  • Exposure to chemicals such as toxic hydrocarbon solvents
  • Recurring strep infections or skin abscesses
  • Viral infections
  • Heart infections
  • Specific diseases such as amyloidosis, diseases of the blood vessels such as vasculitis and polyarthritis, anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody disease, Goodpasture syndrome, IgA nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, regular or heavy use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lupus nephritis, Henoch-Schonlein purpura and membranoproliferative GN