What is a Nephrologist?
Nephrologists, commonly referred to as kidney doctors, are specialists in kidney care who often manage dialysis for patients with end-stage renal illness and treat chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Patients who have renal issues, high blood pressure, or certain types of metabolic illnesses are typically referred to nephrologists by their primary care physicians or general practitioners. A nephrologist might be consulted if a patient feels they are experiencing renal issues. A kidney specialist would often review the patient's medical history and do a full physical examination during the initial consultation.
The condition of the patient's kidneys will next be evaluated by a nephrologist through blood and urine testing. Additionally, he or she can request a kidney ultrasound. When necessary, a nephrologist may carry out a kidney biopsy to better understand the kidney problem. A nephrologist, however, is not a surgeon and ordinarily doesn't carry out surgeries. A distinct kind of doctor called a urologist typically handles kidney cancer treatment, prostate surgeries, and kidney stone removal.
A nephrologist will assist in identifying the root cause and formulating a treatment plan if they discover that a patient's kidneys are not working as they should. If a renal doctor discovers kidney illness, he or she will perform testing to ascertain the patient's current stage of kidney disease and make treatment recommendations. A renal dietician, renal social worker, or renal nurse will typically be contacted by the nephrologist to assist with the patient's treatment. The patient's kidney doctor will go over the various types of dialysis or refer the patient to a transplant facility if the patient needs dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Dialysis patients typically see a nephrologist multiple times each month, whereas other kidney patients see them every one to three months. When a patient visits for a checkup, the renal doctor will assess the patient's health, deal with any new issues, review test findings, modify the patient's prescription for dialysis if necessary, and update or prescribe medications. In addition to adjusting blood pressure medications, the nephrologist may start or modify treatment for a few additional conditions like diabetes, anemia, and excessive cholesterol during these appointments.
A practitioner who specializes in treating children with kidney illness, including providing dialysis and renal transplantation, is known as a pediatric nephrologist. Pediatric nephrologists are experts in renal physiology, particularly fluid control, electrolyte imbalance, and acid-base abnormalities.
These professionals oversee kidney transplants and their aftercare, as well as hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Nephrologists are specialists in renal health, and they monitor for kidney problems to help you stay healthy.
When the kidneys stop working, the blood is cleaned through a process called dialysis. The two types of dialysis—hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis—are explained to kidney specialists so they can match their patients with the type of dialysis that is most suitable for their health and way of life.
Centers & Institutes
Healthcare Delivery by Nephrologists in the US
Globally, kidney problems are on the rise, and each year, millions of people receive treatment for chronic renal disease or kidney condition (CKD). In actuality, renal disease is the ninth-leading cause of mortality in the US and the world's 12th largest cause of death overall.
It is estimated that 15% of American people have chronic renal disease. 90% of them are unaware of it or wait until the condition is severe and dangerous before seeing a nephrologist.
Due mostly to the chronic illnesses that simultaneously worsen, having malfunctioning kidneys is even more likely than having a malfunctioning liver. Existing medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure can all contribute to kidney problems. It can also lead to the development of high blood pressure and heart disease, even if you did not previously have these illnesses.
Additionally, conditions including anemia, osteoporosis, a weaker immune system, and irregular heartbeats can develop as a result of chronic renal disease. This cause-and-effect relationship highlights the significance of having healthy kidneys and the importance of being proactive about visiting a nephrologist who can diagnose and treat any renal problems you may have.
Nephrologists can help you establish a treatment plan to help you manage low-functioning kidneys. If detected and treated early enough, your kidney damage might even be reversible in some situations.
Are you looking for a Nephrologist who will care for you? Our medical professionals at KellySearch create personalized strategies for each patient and/or their family. We have over 700k doctor listings on the website because our doctors want to give each client their undivided attention. They are also trustworthy and compassionate. Additionally, they are always available for conversation with anyone!
The material presented above is only meant to be informative and is not intended to take the place of advice from your doctor or another health care practitioner. We advise you to talk to your provider about any questions or issues you may have.