Tests conducted by your primary care provider or other practitioner indicate you may have a problem with your kidney function. Early referral to a nephrology specialist is important. You may also have a problem with kidney stones. Nephrologists can help identify your risk factors for forming kidney stones and develop a plan of care to reduce stone frequency or even cease new stone formation altogether.
A nephrologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of kidney disease, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and other kidney-related disorders. In addition to completing a residency in internal medicine, nephrologists must complete several years of additional training.
A nephrologist is a medical doctor who focuses on the treatment of diseases of the kidney. An urologist is medical doctor who focuses on the treatment of the diseases of the urinary tract and prostate. These two specialists often work together to address different aspects of a patient’s medical needs.
CKD is chronic kidney disease. CKD is defined as a decreased level of kidney function or the evidence of kidney damage for greater than three months. Individuals at risk for developing kidney disease are those with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States. High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and affect the filtering ability of the kidney. Controlling your blood sugar can help slow the progress of your kidney disease.
High blood pressure damages the blood vessels and reduces blood supply to the kidney. High blood pressure can cause kidney problems and kidney problems can cause high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause a decrease in kidney function and irreversible kidney damage.
Common medications to avoid are NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory medications), enemas and laxatives — unless ordered by the nephrologists, any “cure-all” remedies and various food supplements, herbal medicines and vitamins. It is a good idea to check with your nephrologist prior to starting any new over the counter or prescription medications.
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