What is Nephrology?
Nephrology is an internal medicine specialty that focuses on the treatment of kidney diseases and abnormalities. Nephrology encompasses the diseases that kidneys can create such as hypertension, as well as diseases that can cause kidney failure such as diabetes.
Importance of Healthy Kidneys
Although the kidneys are small organs, they are of vital importance. When functioning properly, kidneys filter between 120 to 150 quarts of blood. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining many mineral, hormonal and chemical levels within the blood and urine. These hormones are necessary for regulating blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and more.
What Does a Nephrologist Do?
Nephrologists are responsible for diagnosing and treating diseases that affect the kidneys and conditions originating in the kidney that impact other organs of the body. A nephrologist sees patients who have been referred to them by a primary care provider or an internal medicine doctor due to problems pertaining to their kidneys.
What Conditions Does a Nephrologist Treat?
Nephrologists work closely with patients to provide early disease detection, manage symptoms and provide treatment and solutions for a range of diseases and conditions; some of which include:
- Electrolyte disorder
- Kidney stones
- Tubulointerstitial disease
- Mineral metabolism
- Acute kidney disease or acute kidney failure
- Alport syndrome
- Chronic kidney disease (CDK)
- Glomerular disease
- IgA nephropathy
- Interstitial nephritis
- High Blood Pressure or hypertension
What Exams Does a Nephrologist Perform?
Nephrologists are responsible for managing many diseases and conditions that impact the kidney or originate within the kidney. In addition to generic blood testing and radiology tests, nephrologists may also perform the following procedures:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Albumin test
- BUN test
- Kidney biopsy
- Calcium test
- Magnesium test
- Creatinine blood test
- Kidney transplant
What to Expect at a Nephrology Appointment?
A nephrologist will begin by reviewing the patient's medical history followed by a full physical. Blood and urine tests are typically performed first to help the doctor understand how the kidneys are functioning. The nephrologist will then work with an experienced team of doctors, lab technicians and dietitians to ensure the best care and treatment is provided.
Benefits of UnityPoint Clinic Nephrology
Nephrologists at UnityPoint Clinic offer specialty treatment and services in the areas of blood pressure management, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, renal disease and dialysis. Our nephrologists and medical staff coordinate care to ensure proper diagnosis and management of kidney diseases to enhance your quality of life.