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What Is the Treatment for Nephritis in Children?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated May 17, 2024
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In the medical world, prefixes and suffixes are designed to modify words in a descriptive way, enabling professionals to have a universal language. The suffix itis refers to inflammation. Nephritis in children, for example, is the inflammation of nephrons, or structures in the kidneys, occurring in children. Each case of nephritis differs in many ways, and the treatment therefore needs to align with the specific circumstances surrounding nephritis in children; however, most approaches involve supportive care in combination with addressing the condition's root cause.

Although, medically speaking, nephritis refers to inflammation of the nephrons, sometimes broader definitions are used. Those suffering usually experience blood in the urine, high blood pressure, and decreased kidney function. The severity of such a condition can range from minor to life threatening, but without treatment, most will never recover. It is imperative that anyone suffering seek immediate medical attention.

Only an extensive physical examination coupled with laboratory tests can determine whether or not an individual is suffering from nephritis. If a positive diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment is generally twofold in both adults and children. Basically, supportive care is needed to keep the body functioning at a sustainable level. Additionally, the source of nephritis needs to be addressed and treated.

Supportive care consists of helping any affected systems maintain function while this condition is still present. In the case of nephritis in children, the most frequent associated abnormalities are fluid imbalances and increased blood pressure. These are treated in a similar fashion as to how they would be addressed if nephritis were not also present.

Hypertension, for example, is usually addressed with treatments such as calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics. The mechanism of action for these treatments are complex and different, but all act to decrease the amount of fluid or pressure associated with high blood pressure. Any electrolyte imbalances can be addressed using dietary changes or intravenous solutions. Renal deficiencies are commonly addressed through the use of dialysis for the associated renal issues of nephritis in children.

Once supportive measures have been taken to control nephritis in children, the primary causes need to be addressed. This condition is most commonly caused by an outside factor, such as a toxin or bacterial infection, or by a genetic disease, such as an autoimmune disorder. Treatment for each of these causes is different; for example, an infection might be treated with an antibiotic, whereas a toxin may need to be flushed from the body. Unfortunately, the treatments available for autoimmune disorders are relatively limited. There is also a long period of monitoring and recovery associated with these children suffering from nephritis.

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