Kidney scarring occurs in the small blood vessels in the kidneys known as glomeruli, and thus it is also known as glomerulosclerosis. The cause of it is often unknown, but in many cases, it is the result of an infection, a disease, excess toxins or drug abuse. Common causes include diabetes, lupus, urinary tract infections and strep throat. Scarring of the kidneys can be slowed down, but it cannot be reversed after the damage has been done. If not treated and taken care of in time, it can lead to kidney failure.
One of the most common causes of kidney scarring is diabetes. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, and when excess glucose is present, it causes the kidneys to work harder at keeping the blood clean. This can eventually result in high blood pressure and kidney scars. A person suffering from diabetes can help in preventing scarring by maintaining the blood sugar levels with proper nutrition, exercise and taking the medications as instructed.
Lupus is another common cause of kidney scarring. It is a chronic autoimmune disorder that most commonly causes inflammation in the joints, but it can also affect the kidneys. The disease can cause inflammation in the glomeruli, which then contributes to kidney scars. Other inflammatory diseases that cause inflammation in the kidneys can also cause scarring.
Infectious diseases such as urinary tract infections, skin infections or strep throat can also contribute to kidney scarring. This is because an infection might cause the body to produce excess amounts of antibodies, which then might end up in the glomeruli and cause inflammation. Other causes of kidney scars include chronic liver disease, drug abuse and inflammation or hardening of the arteries in the kidneys. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels also play a role in kidney scarring.
Kidney scars can be detected through a urinalysis. The test is able to detect high levels of protein, or red blood cells, which are common signs of kidney or scarring. A biopsy might also be necessary, because it helps in detecting kidney lesions.
Although there is no cure for kidney scarring, there are remedies and treatments available to prevent further damage to the kidney. A diet that is low in fat, protein and salt can help in slowing down the progression of the scarring. Anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and vitamin D supplements can also be helpful. In severe cases, a kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant can be done in order to save the life of the individual.