The word nephrology is derived from the Greek word νεφρός (nephrós), meaning kidney, and the suffix -logía (study, treatise).
Nephrology is a medical speciality that deals with the morphological and functional study of the kidney in normal and pathological conditions.
The kidneys are vital organs that play a crucial role in eliminating waste and maintaining fluid balance in our body. When kidney problems arise, a nephrologist is the expert to turn to for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
What does a nephrologist diagnose and what are some of the common conditions they deal with?
1.High blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time. Nephrologists evaluate and treat patients with high blood pressure who may be at risk for kidney disease.
2. Chronic kidney disease: They diagnose and manage chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition in which the kidneys gradually lose their ability to filter waste and excess fluid. This is done through laboratory tests that measure kidney function and the presence of protein or blood in the urine.
3. Recurrent urinary tract infections: If you experience recurrent urinary tract infections, a nephrologist can look for underlying causes, such as blockages or abnormalities in the urinary tract.
4. Kidney stones: Nephrologists can diagnose and help prevent the formation of kidney stones, small mineral accumulations in the kidneys that can cause pain and obstruction of urine flow.
5. Autoimmune disorders: Conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus and glomerulonephritis are examples of autoimmune diseases that affect the kidneys. Nephrologists work closely with rheumatologists and other specialists to diagnose and treat these conditions.
6. Inherited diseases: Some kidney diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, have a genetic basis. A nephrologist can perform genetic testing and imaging to confirm these conditions.
7. Renal transplantation: Nephrologists are also involved in the evaluation of renal transplant donors and recipients, as well as in the follow-up and treatment of patients after transplantation.
In short, nephrologists play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of kidney and urinary problems. If you experience symptoms such as swelling, changes in urination, lower back pain or have risk factors for kidney disease, it is important to seek the guidance of a nephrologist.
Early detection and proper treatment can help prevent serious complications and maintain long-term kidney health.
At our practice at General Mitre 101, we have a specialist in Nephrology who is able to address any pathology related to the condition or function of the kidneys.