What Makes the Kidneys Ill in Lupus
In lupus part of the kidneys that filters blood is damaged, hence it is autoimmune glomerulonephritis (GN). The kidneys in lupus are hurt due to two mechanisms: first, is called extrarenal (causes lying outside the kidney) and second intrarenal (causes lying inside the kidney).
Extrarenal damage occurs in the kidneys due to deposition of circulating immune complexes. Since kidney acts to filter the blood. Lupus causes autoimmune damage to various organs and the immune complexes are formed. During the filtering of blood, these complexes get deposited in kidneys, resulting in inflammatory disease of the kidneys and damage to the local filtering structures. In intrarenal mechanism antibodies directly attack the kidney cells. All this is worsened by other local inflammatory responses (5).
But the damage in kidneys is not only due to the disease, it could also be due to the toxic effect of various medications. People living with lupus have higher chances of getting infections of urinary tract due to poor functioning of local immune system and intake of immune-suppressing drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs may cause direct damage to various structures of the kidneys.