Information about Nephrology
What is Nephrology?
Think of your kidneys as two volunteers, quietly dedicated to your overall health and wellness. These life-sustaining organs are located in your abdominal cavity on either side of your spine—right in the middle of your back just above the waist. Their jobs involve cleaning your blood by removing waste and excess fluid, maintaining the balance of salt and minerals in your blood, and helping to regulate blood pressure. As a field of medicine, nephrology focuses on keeping them healthy, and on supporting patients dealing with kidney disease or other disorders.
How We Are Different
One of the great challenges with recognizing kidney disorders is that symptoms typically show up in other parts of the body. For instance, when the kidneys are damaged, waste products and fluid that build up in the body will cause swelling in your ankles. Patients may have episodes of vomiting, experience fatigue or poor sleep, or find themselves short of breath. In such instances, a person’s first instinct may be to examine the localized issue—ankle swelling—rather than the root cause. Our job is to provide comprehensive care for all types of kidney issues—and to do so quickly and effectively. If misdiagnosed or left untreated, diseased kidneys may stop functioning all together, leading to a very serious—and potentially fatal—condition.
Treatment and management of disorders of the kidney, including:
- High blood pressure
- Fluid and mineral imbalance
- Kidney transplantation
- After care for patients with kidney transplants
What are the symptoms of kidney failure?
In most cases, mild to moderate kidney failure does not have any symptoms. It is most often detected on a routine laboratory testing. Severe kidney failure can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling, difficulty breathing and weakness. These symptoms may also be caused by other illnesses, and any patient with these symptoms should seek medical attention promptly.
How is kidney function measured?
Kidney function is measured by blood tests. The most important measure of kidney function is creatinine.
What can I do the maintain the current health of my kidneys?
To begin, early detection and intervention are key. Also, always follow your provider’s suggestions. Keep in mind that diabetes and high blood pressure account for two thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease. Therefore, seek proper management and support where these diseases are concerned, including your diet, proper exercise, the right medications, and water intake.
Whether acute or chronic, disorders of the kidneys come with little margin of error or time. Expect us to work diligently and expertly in providing you with immediate care and consultation. In helping you manage your health over time, expect that your unique needs will remain front and center of our decision-making. As Vancouver’s leading team of nephrologists, we are available to see you in the office or the hospital, guaranteeing you continuity and consistency.