About Bright's Disease

By Prev Info - February 17, 2022

About Bright's Disease

Bright's disease is archaic terminology for a classification of kidney diseases. These problems with the kidney are now known as acute and chronic nephritis. The result of Bright's disease, or nephritis, is inflammation of one or both kidneys. This inflammation results in the excretion of protein via urination. Left untreated, Bright's disease can result in death.


The "father of nephrology," Richard Bright, was an English physician in the 1800s. Through extensive research, Bright identified the symptoms and causes of kidney disease, becoming the first physician to accurately equate the existence of albumin in urine with kidney pathology. Early treatments of the condition included bloodletting, warm baths and laxatives and diuretics to treat the associated edema, or swelling.


There are two basic types of nephritis: acute and chronic. Acute nephritis is usually short-term and affects mostly children and teenagers. The disease occurs most often in males. Acute nephritis has a generally good prognosis. Chronic nephritis, on the other hand, is the long-term version of Bright's disease. It is an advanced form of kidney disease which results in long-lasting inflammation that causes the breakdown of glomeruli, which are stuctures inside the kidney. The prognosis for chronic nephritis is poor. The condition leads to high blood pressure and loss of kidney function.


The features of Bright's disease are the presence of dark urine and edema, sometimes to the point of restricting breathing. Acute nephritic attacks are often preceded by severe back pain, vomiting and fever. Symptoms often come on slowly, making Bright's disease not immediately identifiable. Medical tests, including a urinalysis, must be completed to accurately diagnose kidney disease. The causes of Bright's disease are generally murky, though many researchers believe certain medications and underlying medical conditions can trigger the condition.


Acute nephritis is generally resolved in the body and rarely leaves any long-lasting effects. Chronic nephritis, however, results in degenerative changes in the kidney, which impairs the functioning of the organ and causes scarring. The final outcome of the condition is often end-stage kidney failure. The chronic form of the disease is often extremely uncomfortable for its patients, primarily due to the edema involved.


The acute form of Bright's disease usually responds well to treatment. Many times, a strict regimen of administering of immunosuppressive drugs will be used. The result of these medications is to reduce inflammation which in turn lessens the amount of scarring. Chronic nephritis is also often treated with immunosuppressive therapy. Associated conditions are treated as well, including using diuretics for edema and hypertension-fighting medications for high blood pressure. Advanced stages of chronic nephritis sometimes require kidney dialysis or even a kidney transplant.

How to Treat Brights Disease

The goal of treatment is to protect your weakened kidneys and to reverse any complications immediately. This is a serious disease that requires many months of diligent medical management.

Things You'll Need : high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet


1 - Restrict your intake of protein, as ordered by your doctor, if you are experiencing signs of kidney failure. See "How to Eat While On Dialysis."

2 - Limit your salt. Too much salt causes fluid retention and bloating, and causes your kidneys to work harder.


3 - Restrict your fluids if you are producing scant urine, as ordered by your doctor. Sometimes, for moderate to severe Bright's disease, you will be told to drink an amount of liquid equivalent to your perspiration and urination, also known as balancing your intake and output.

4 - Eat a high-carbohydrate diet. Carbs are easier for the kidneys to detoxify than proteins and fats.


5 - Stay in bed, if ordered by your doctor. During the acute stages of Bright's disease, the body needs complete rest.


6 - Limit your activities, once you are through the acute stages of Bright's disease. Be gentle to your body, give your kidneys a chance to heal. Too much activity can cause protein and blood deposits in your urine.


7 - Take a prescription of antibiotics, as ordered by your doctor, if your Bright's disease was as a result of a bacterial infection.


8 - Consider dialysis. In some cases of chronic Bright's disease, dialysis is necessary for survival.

Tips & Warnings

-Your doctor may order a renal biopsy, or one or more prescription drugs to treat your Bright's disease.

-This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.



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