Information about Nephrology
Get compassionate care for kidney issues
Nephrologists specialize in keeping patients’ kidneys healthy and support those with kidney failure— also known as renal failure. They provide comprehensive care for all types of kidney disease—and to do so quickly and effectively.
The kidneys, which are located above the waist in the middle of the back, perform several critical jobs in the body, including:
- Cleaning the blood by removing excess waste and fluid
- Balancing salts and minerals in the blood
- Helping regulate blood pressure.
When the kidneys stop functioning well it can be uncomfortable and serious. Our Nephrology Department doctors provide patients with a fast and accurate diagnosis, giving them the advice they need to manage their condition, and connecting them with treatment to help them take the best care possible of these vital organs.
Treatment and management of disorders of the kidney, including:
- High blood pressure
- Fluid and mineral imbalance
- Kidney transplantation
- Aftercare for patients with kidney transplants
What is nephrology?
Nephrology is a medical specialty that focuses on diseases that affect the kidneys. A nephrologist is essentially a kidney doctor.
What causes kidney failure?
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. When blood-sugar levels are too high, as they are when diabetes is poorly controlled, it can damage the kidneys. High blood pressure (hypertension) is the second-leading cause of failure. Researchers believe that high blood pressure damages the fragile arteries around the kidneys, disrupting blood flow and leading to failure.
What are the symptoms of kidney failure?
Mild to moderate kidney failure rarely has symptoms. It is most often detected on a routine laboratory test. Severe kidney failure can cause fatigue or poor sleep, loss of appetite, vomiting episodes, swelling, difficulty breathing, and weakness. One of the challenges with recognizing kidney disorders is that symptoms typically appear in other parts of the body. While these symptoms may also be caused by other illnesses, individuals with these issues should seek medical attention promptly.
How is kidney function measured?
The most important measure of kidney function is the amount of creatinine in the blood. Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscle tissue. Damaged kidneys have trouble removing it from the blood.
What can I do to maintain the health of my kidneys?
Diabetes and high blood pressure account for two-thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease. Eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid developing these diseases. Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure can control their disease and prevent complications by eating well, staying active, and taking medications as directed. It’s also important for those who have been diagnosed to check with their nephrology clinician before taking over-the-counter medications.
As with most conditions, early detection and intervention are critical. If kidney disease is identified and treated early, you and your health care team can work together to slow its progression and prevent complications.