Nephrologists diagnose and treat kidney diseases, and care for patients requiring kidney replacement therapy, also known as renal replacement therapy, including dialysis and kidney transplant patients. Many diseases affecting the kidney are conditions that affect more than one part of the body, like high blood pressure.
The most common reasons patients are referred to a nephrologist are:
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Electrolyte disorders or acid/base imbalance
- Hematuria (blood loss in the urine)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Reoccuring Kidney stones
- Proteinuria (the loss of protein in the urine)
1 in 3 U.S. adults are at risk of getting kidney disease. Anyone can get kidney disease, but certain factors can make you more likely to be diagnosed. If you are at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor how often you should be tested.
Kidney tests are essential because kidney disease often has no symptoms until your kidneys are severely damaged. So, the only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. This is especially important for people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease.