What is Nephrology?
Nephrology is an internal medicine speciality for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases, including electrolyte disturbances and hypertension, and the care of those requiring renal replacement therapy, including dialysis and renal transplant patients.The kidney is affected by many chronic as well as acute injury, infections, and kidney stones. Many diseases affecting the kidney are systemic disorders not limited to the organ itself, and may require special treatment.
There is a growing need for renal medicine due to the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
A few indicators of Nephrological disorders
- Acute renal failure, a sudden loss of renal function
- Chronic kidney disease, declining renal function, usually with an inexorable rise in creatinine.
- Hematuria, blood in the urine
- Proteinuria, the loss of protein especially albumin in the urine
- Kidney stones, usually only recurrent stone formers.
- Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections
- Hypertension that has failed to respond to multiple forms of anti-hypertensive medication or could have a secondary cause
- Electrolyte disorders or acid/base imbalance
What is the role of a Nephrologist?
Nephrologists diagnose causes and levels of kidney failure and prescribe appropriate treatment such as medication, diet changes, or dialysis. Nephrologists often care for patients for a long period of time, managing their kidney problems through end-state renal failure. If none of these treatments work, patients may be referred for dialysis or a kidney transplant.