ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Glomerulonephritis can damage your kidneys so that they lose their filtering ability. This can lead to the accumulation of dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and waste in your body (called kidney failure) and deprive your bloodstream of necessary protein.
Complications of glomerulonephritis may include:
- Acute kidney failure. Loss of function in the filtering part of the nephron may cause waste products to accumulate rapidly. This condition may mean you'll need emergency dialysis, an artificial means of removing extra fluids and waste from your blood, typically by an artificial kidney machine (dialyzer).
- Chronic kidney failure. In this extremely serious complication, the kidneys gradually lose function. Kidney function at less than 10 percent of normal capacity indicates end-stage kidney disease, which usually requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to sustain life.
- High blood pressure. Damage to your kidneys and the resulting buildup of wastes in the bloodstream can raise your blood pressure.
- Nephrotic syndrome. This is a group of signs and symptoms that may accompany glomerulonephritis and other conditions that affect the filtering ability of the glomeruli. Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by high protein levels in the urine, resulting in low protein levels in the blood. It's also associated with high blood cholesterol and swelling (edema) of the eyelids, feet and abdomen.
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