Nephrology physicians are one type of doctor that focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of kidney disorders. They also undergo instruction to manage the effect of kidney problems on the entire body.
A physician may recommend nephrology dialysis when they feel that the patient is showing indications of kidney issues like kidney disease and infections or growths.
In the article, we will discuss what nephrologists do, the kinds of ailments they treat and the procedures they use, and the times when one might require a visit to one.
What is a Nephrologist?
A medical doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys is a nephrologist. They are able to conduct diagnostic tests and treat ailments that are related to kidneys.
Nephrology is a specialization of internal medicine. To qualify as a nephrologist the person must:
- Obtain both a medical and undergraduate degree.
- Do a three-year residency in basic internal medicine.
- Do a 2- or 3-year fellowship that focuses on nephrology
- Take a board certification test (optional)
Nephrologist surgeons are usually employed in private or group practices that care for patients referred by family physicians or specialists. A lot of nephrologists consult cases in hospitals as well as supervise dialysis units. Usually, they are located at a clinic or hospital.
A few nephrologists are also involved in research in the clinic while others serve as instructors and supervisees.
What diseases do they treat?
Nephrologists deal with conditions that affect kidneys or can affect them in both ways, directly and indirectly.
A few of the most common ailments that the nephrologist treats treat are:
- Chronic kidney disease or advanced
- Glomerular disorders, for example, Nephrotic Syndrome and glomerulonephritis
- Kidney diseases that are tubulointerstitial
- Tubular defects
- Kidney-related vascular disorders like the stenosis of the renal artery
- Kidney infections
- Kidney tumors, or other abnormal growths
Functional or structural problems with the bladder, kidneys, or the urine collection system like nephrology doctors
- High blood pressure
- Kidneys are the most affected organ in the body.
- Fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base imbalances, or disturbances
- Certain metabolic diseases include diabetes, for example.
What are the procedures they follow?
Their experience in nephrology and internal medicine permits the nephrology department to carry out an extensive list of tests procedures, treatments, and procedures.
But, the most frequent tests that they employ to monitor or diagnose kidney issues include urine and blood tests.
The kidneys remove excess fluid and waste from the bloodstream, resulting in urine. This means urine and blood tests are often able to determine whether kidneys function properly.
Urine tests can also look for any abnormal levels of a protein that could be linked to kidney damage that is present in urine.
The sections below discuss these types of tests in greater depth.
The most common blood tests are:
The body creates creatinine as a result of muscle damage that occurs every day.
However having the highest levels of creatinine levels in the blood, or an increase in serum creatinine levels is typically an indicator of progressive kidney disease.
The levels of creatinine in the blood depend on various factors, including age, body size, and race. If you have a value higher than 1.2 for women, or more than 1.4 for men could indicate kidney issues.
Glomerular filtration rate
The glomerular rate of filtration (GFR) measures how well kidneys can eliminate the excess fluid and waste from the blood. Kidney specialists can assess this number by measuring the serum creatinine level as well as adjusting for age, gender, and race.
Value decreases as you age, however, the most important GFR values are:
90 or more (normal)
60 or lower (kidney dysfunction)
15 or lower (high likelihood of needing dialysis, or a transplant to treat kidney failure)
Urea nitrogen in the blood
Urea nitrogen endies a huge waste product produced by the body’s breakdown of protein in food and beverages. In general, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels rise as kidney function decreases.
Normally, levels of BUN vary between 7 and 20.
The most common urine tests are
In order to conduct an analysis of urine, also known as the urinalysis procedure, a nephrologist would generally examine the urine sample using microscopes to look for any abnormalities.
Urinalysis may also include the dipstick test, in which the nephrologist dips the chemically treated strip into urine samples. The strip’s color may change in the event of an abnormal reaction to blood, proteins or sugar levels, bacteria, or pus.
This can help identify urinary tract and kidney problems.
For a 24-hour urine test, an individual will take their urine samples for 24 hours in order to determine how much urine kidneys produce and the number of electrolytes and protein that the kidneys lose in the urine every day.
A test for creations clearance is a test that compares the amount of croft creatinine present in a 24-hour urine sample with the amount found from blood specimens to determine the numbers of waste kidneys remove every minute.
Microalbuminuria tests are a specific type of dipstick test that picks tiny amounts of albumin protein in the urine.
People who are at risk of developing kidney diseases, nephrology specialists ‘people with high blood pressure, or metabolic diseases like diabetes, can be tested if their normal dipstick test results are negative for excessive levels of protein in the blood (proteinuria).
Nephrology employs a variety of procedures that help to identify and monitor kidney diseases. They use a variety of procedures, including:
Ultrasound makes use of sound waves to form an image that shows the kidneys. The test is able to detect any changes in the size or location of the kidneys as well as obstructions.
Obstructions can manifest in the form of tumors, or other abnormal growths, such as kidney stones, cysts, or cysts.
A CT scan utilizes X-rays to make a photo of the kidneys, often by using the intravenous use of a contrast agent. This test can reveal structures that are not functioning properly or have abnormalities.