Your kidneys play an important role in your overall health, so it’s essential to ensure they are healthy. Many diseases can affect the kidneys, and if you have any kind of kidney disorder, it’s vital to seek help. However, not all doctors have the training to provide comprehensive care for diseases related to the kidneys. For all kidney-related issues, the specialist to see is a nephrologist.
Here’s more on what nephrologist is and what they can do for you:
What Is A Nephrologist?
A nephrologist has completed specialized education and training in the care of patients with diseases and disorders of the kidneys.
They are knowledgeable about how to diagnose conditions such as the following:
- Chronic kidney disease – results in the gradual loss of kidney function
- Glomerulonephritis – damages the filtering units of the kidneys
- Polycystic kidney disease – an inherited disorder where cysts form on the kidneys, leading to enlargement and decreased function
- Hypertension – high blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys
- Diabetic nephropathy – occurs in patients with diabetes
- Acute kidney injury – a sudden decrease in the ability to filter waste products
- Urinary tract infections – an infection of the organs and structures that collect and eliminate urine
- Kidney stones – hard minerals that form in the urinary tract and can block the flow of urine
Nephrologists also diagnose and treat electrolyte abnormalities. Electrolyte problems can affect the balance of fluids throughout the body. This condition may lead to dehydration or other problems.
Nephrologists also address these concerns:
- Mineral imbalances
- Acid-base balance disorders
- Dialysis complications
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Proteinuria (excessive protein in the urine)
How Do Nephrologists Treat Patients?
Nephrologists use a variety of treatments to address kidney diseases and disorders. They will begin with a comprehensive physical exam and medical history review. That helps the doctor understand the patient’s current condition and treatment needs.
They may also request laboratory tests, imaging studies, and other diagnostic procedures to understand the patient’s condition.
Based on this evaluation, the nephrologist may recommend different treatments, like the following:
A nephrologist may prescribe medications to help manage electrolyte imbalances, high blood pressure, and other issues. They may also prescribe antibiotics to treat kidney infections or other medicines to treat conditions that lead to kidney damage.
Nephrologists may recommend lifestyle changes to help manage or prevent kidney disease. That can include:
- Diet modifications
- Reducing salt intake
- Stopping smoking
- Exercising regularly
In cases of severe kidney failure, nephrologists may recommend dialysis. This process uses a machine to filter waste products and toxins from the blood, replacing the role of the kidneys.
Working With Other Healthcare Providers
Your nephrologist will work with other healthcare providers, such as your primary care physician and dietician, to ensure you are getting the best possible care from your healthcare team.
When To Consult A Nephrologist
It’s essential to consult a nephrologist if you are experiencing any symptoms that may be related to kidney disease. That can include:
- Frequent urination
- Edema (swelling)
- Dark or tea-colored urine
- Protein in the urine
You should also consult a nephrologist if you have any underlying conditions that can lead to kidney diseases in the future. Some examples are diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease. Your nephrologist can help monitor your condition and provide treatment if needed.
Top Nephrologist In Westwood, MA
A nephrologist is an essential specialist when caring for your kidneys. With their expertise, they can diagnose and treat kidney diseases and disorders and help manage kidney-related health issues. If you have any concerns about your kidneys, make an appointment with a nephrologist. They can provide you with the comprehensive care and treatment you need to keep your kidneys healthy.
Are you looking for the best nephrologist in Westwood, MA? Commonwealth Nephrology Associates is here to help you. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained nephrologists can give you the kidney care you need. Call our friendly staff at (617) 739-2100 to learn more about our comprehensive services. You can also answer our secure online request form to book a visit with the best kidney doctor near you.
We look forward to helping you live a healthy, high-quality life.