Your kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body. They filter your blood and remove waste products, which keeps your kidneys functioning properly. If you are having problems with your kidneys, it is important to see a nephrologist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage to your kidneys.
Why might you see a nephrologist?
When you are first referred to a nephrologist, it is because your doctor has determined that you have a kidney-related problem. They may have come to this conclusion because you are experiencing symptoms such as frequent urination, blood in the urine, or swelling in the legs and ankles. Some other common symptoms of kidney problems include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help right away. There are a number of possible causes of kidney problems, including kidney stones, infection, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney cancer, or autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in treating these problems.
What will the nephrologist do first?
When you first see a nephrologist, he or she will likely ask you a lot of questions about your medical history and your current symptoms. The nephrologist will also perform a physical examination. During the physical examination, the nephrologist will check your blood pressure and look for signs of fluid retention, such as swelling in your legs or ankles. The nephrologist will also examine your abdomen for signs of an enlarged liver or spleen.
What will come after the physical exam?
Based on the information you provide and the results of the physical examination, the nephrologist will likely order some tests. These tests may include blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI. The blood tests will likely check your creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels. These two tests can help your doctor determine how well your kidneys are filtering waste from your blood. The urine tests may look for signs of proteinuria, which is a protein in your urine. This can be a sign that your kidneys are damaged. Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI, can help your doctor see the size and shape of your kidneys. They can also help your doctor see if there are any blockages in your urinary tract.
What can these tests show?
The nephrologist will use the results of these tests to diagnose the problem and to develop a treatment plan. Treatment plans may include medications, dialysis, or a kidney transplant. If the problem is caused by a blockage in the urinary tract, the nephrologist may prescribe medications to help clear the blockage. If the problem is caused by kidney damage, the nephrologist may prescribe medications to help the kidneys work better. If the problem is serious and cannot be treated with medications, the nephrologist may recommend dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment that uses a machine to clean the blood. A kidney transplant is an operation in which a healthy kidney is placed in the body to replace a damaged one.
If you are experiencing any problems with your kidneys, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or seek out a nephrologist. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely. Make sure to take all of your medications as prescribed and to eat a healthy diet. It is also important to get regular exercise and to stay hydrated. These specialists have the years of experience necessary to offer the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease and improve your overall kidney health.
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