What is Nephrology?
Nephrology is the branch of medicine focused on the physiology and diseases of the kidneys. The kidneys, each the size of a clenched fist, are located on both sides of the spine. Your kidneys function as filters to remove waste products from your blood as it circulates through your body. This means that your kidneys filter between 120-150 pints of blood (depending on your size) and up to two quarts of urine each day. It's not optimal but it is possible for the body to function with just one kidney.
What Does a Nephrologist Do?
Nephrologists diagnose and treat kidney diseases. This category includes diseases and conditions that are caused by kidneys that aren't functioning well, such as hypertension, as well as conditions that cause kidney problems, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
What are Some Common Kidney Disease Treatments?
- Lifestyle Change: A combination of self-care and the right diet can help make life with kidney disease easier.
- Medication: There are medications available that may be tailored to your specific kidney disease. Your doctor will recommend the best approach.
- Dialysis: A procedure that helps failed kidneys perform their normal functions. Dialysis helps to remove harmful wastes and regulate the body's fluid levels.
- Surgery: Depending on your condition, kidney surgery may be a recommended option as part of your course of treatment.
What Conditions Do Nephrologists Treat?
- Chronic kidney disease
- Acute kidney injury
- Kidney failure (including dialysis)
- Glomerulonephritis: several kidney diseases that affect both kidneys
- Severe high blood pressure(hypertension)
- Electrolyte disorders
- Kidney stones
- Kidney-related anemia
- Acid-base disorders