A nephrologist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ailments that affect the kidneys. Many people may not realize how prone their kidneys could be to issues such as kidney stones or kidney failure. If your primary care doctor suggests that you see a nephrologist, it is imperative that you heed his or her advice.
What follows are some common signs, symptoms, and medical conditions for which you will want to consult a nephrologist.
Disorders of the Kidneys
There are a number of problems that could arise in your kidneys that you may not be aware of. One of the major and most serious diseases of the kidneys is chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is nicknamed the “silent killer.” CKD has very subtle and mild symptoms, and sometimes patients don’t exhibit symptoms at all. Meanwhile, their kidneys fail to properly filter the blood, resulting in a buildup of waste in the body.
On the other hand, kidney disease can occur suddenly, as the result of an acute kidney injury such as when the kidneys are put through a shock, usually in the form of reduced blood perfusion, dehydration, or due to complications after a surgery.
Kidney disease can also be caused by kidney stones. While kidney stones alone may be less serious than an acute kidney injury, these stones have a high probability of leading to chronic kidney disease. The same can be said for kidney infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs). These relate to a broad range of conditions involving bacteria in the urine, bladder infections or kidney infections.
Other Possible Links to Kidney Problems
There may not be anything currently wrong with your kidneys – but your primary care physician may refer you to a nephrologist if you have a pre-existing condition with the potential to lead to kidney issues in the future.
Diabetes and obesity are some leading causes of kidney failure in the US. High-blood pressure and heart disease can also lead to malfunctions of the kidneys. If you have had strep throat recently, the bacteria that caused the infection can also cause an inflammation of the kidneys called glomerulonephritis. Even your family medical history could show a high risk of kidney issues, such as polycystic kidney disease.
If you believe you may need to see a nephrologist, visit one of the offices of Commonwealth Nephrology Associates. We are devoted to caring for patients with kidney diseases and associated conditions such as hypertension, kidney stones, and electrolyte disorders.
Our kidney specialists offer an aggressive approach to slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease and improving outcomes. To schedule your appointment, call our offices at (617) 739-2100.