mellicious: pink manicure (ST - bones)
[personal profile] mellicious
... concerning that word from last week. This is mostly for [livejournal.com profile] columbina , who I know was interested!

I have been going around all week saying "glo-MER-u-lar" - this word is just a mouthful before you even get to glo-mer-u-lo-nef-RI-tis. OK, so here is the deal - the glomeruli are tiny capillaries, which are inside the glomerular capsule, which is inside a nephron (which are inside the kidneys, which are inside the peritoneum, and so on and so forth), and they are where one step of the work of filtration takes place. Materials filter through the porous glomerular wall and out into the nephron - this is called the glomerular filtrate - it's water, electrolytes and other nutrients as well as waste materials. Bigger things like proteins can't come through. After it leaves the glomerulus, the liquid filters through long (but itty-bitty) tubes in the nephrons where the things that your body wants - the water and electolytes and so forth - are reabsorbed, leaving only the waste material. That make sense?

Now, as far as glomerulonephritis - if you break it down, that word just means "inflammation of the glomeruli and kidneys" but apparently it has a more specific meaning in actual use. It usually follows an immunologic reaction, often in another body system, and often goes with autoimmune diseases like lupus. I'm not really clear on the mechanism (and probably don't really need to be at this point) but what you end up with is very damaged kidneys, with blood and protein escaping from the nephrons and into the urine. Most people recover from this, but chronic glomerulonephritis can lead to renal failure and the need for dialysis and all of that fun stuff. (Not.)

So there you go, more than you wanted to know about the glomeruli and diseases thereof. You're welcome.


Oh, and also? I have a tendency to write "gnomerulus" which I ascribe entirely to too much WoW. (If you looked closely at the unedited version of this post you know that already.)
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