The two main types of doctors who treat problems with kidney function are urologists and nephrologists. Of the two, a nephrologist – a kidney specialist – focuses on diagnosing and treating all conditions that affect the kidneys, including hepatitis and kidney disease.
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a kidney doctor if you have a medical condition that puts you at particular risk of developing kidney disease, or if you need specialized kidney treatment. Kidney disease usually has no symptoms in its early stages, so it is important to have a kidney doctor by your side if you have anything that puts you at risk – such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or long-term use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Let’s talk about what you can expect at your visit to a nephrologist, and where you can go here in Greater Boston for world-class kidney treatment.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
To make the most out of your visit to the kidney doctor, it helps to be prepared. Be sure to bring your recent test results with you. Have written down a list of symptoms you are experiencing, and any questions and concerns you have. Also, write down the current medications and dosages you are taking.
Comprehensive Review of Your Medical History
At the appointment, your kidney doctor will first gather both general and specific information from you regarding your medical history. This includes past and current illnesses and diagnoses, family history of illness and disease, and current medications and supplements you are taking.
Complete Physical Exam and Tests
The kidney doctor will then perform a physical examination, including a check of your lungs, heart rate, blood pressure, and weight. You may undergo one or more tests that can help the kidney doctor determine how well your kidneys are functioning.
The kidney doctor will also request blood and urine tests. The blood test is to check your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and creatinine (Cr) levels. The GFR rate reveals how well the kidneys are filtering waste out of your blood. Creatinine is a specific waste product that your kidneys filter out.
The urine test is performed to check albumin levels because healthy kidneys do not let albumin (a protein) pass into the urine. Elevated levels of GFR, Cr, and albumin reveal problems with the kidneys.
Experienced Kidney Doctors in Greater Boston, Massachusetts
If you are seeking a nephrologist for expert kidney care, schedule a visit with one of our specialists here at Commonwealth Nephrology Associates. Our practice is devoted to successfully treating patients who have kidney problems. Our kidney doctors take an aggressive approach to treating kidney problems because your kidneys are key organs in your body – performing a critical function of removing waste from your body and maintaining a healthy balance of fluids and minerals.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (617) 739-2100 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner.