Nephrology is not known by many; it is one of the subspecialties of internal medicine that focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of diseases of the kidney.
The kidney performs essential functions, and it is the job of a nephrologist to give expertise and guidance in kidney disorders. Not only that but also consequences of kidney dysfunction. Nephrologists are usually called upon to assist and manage more complex or advanced nephrology diseases that your family medicine or your internist do not treat. Sadly, one in three American’s is at high risk of developing kidney disease according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Conditions nephrologists treat:
- Abnormalities of the kidney
- Glomerular diseases
- Kidney infections
- Knowledge of disorders of the kidney vasculature
- Neoplasms of the kidney
- Tubular defects
- Tubulointerstitial kidney diseases
What causes kidney disease?
Most conditions of the kidney are caused by either poor kidney care or poor genetics. When you are at the point when you’re diagnosed with chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease, this is when your kidneys slowly stop to function. Other conditions to note that can cause kidney disease are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructions in your urinary tract or inflammation of the kidneys. Kidney infections, also called pyelonephritis, can also contribute to kidney disease. An infection is usually manifested by a bacteria, left untreated it can cause permanent kidney damage. Kidney stones can also cause kidney disease. Made from hardened minerals and acid salts these stones are usually formed by your urine crystallizing due to concentrated urine i.e. dehydration.
What do the kidneys do?
Your kidneys filter the extra water and toxins from your blood stream. Approximately 120 to 152 quarts or 144 liters of blood daily to create 1-2 quarts of urine every day according to the National Institutes of Health or NIH. Your kidneys are made up of millions of tiny filters called nephrons. Nephrons have two parts. The glomerulus is the first section of the filtering system straining blood cells and molecules from the toxins and fluid at which point the fluids and toxins are carried through the second section called the tubule. The tubule collects minerals that your body needs and places them back into the bloodstream while the waste and extra water become urine which your body then excretes.
Your kidneys also make hormones. These hormones help to regulate your blood pressure, make red blood cells and promote bone health.
When you hear the words kidney failure you are in the most severe stage of the disease process; this is when your kidneys stop working. If you’re in kidney failure, you will be placed on dialysis and a kidney transplant list to survive.
Over 61,000 adults are diagnosed with kidney cancer and renal pelvic cancer yearly and are the cause of approximately 14,000 deaths a year in the United States according to the American Cancer Society.
Promoting good kidney health!
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid dehydration at all health
- Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content
- Avoid sodas and caffeinated drinks
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Vitamins are essential including folic acid and Vitamin A
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Avoid diets high in fat and salt
- Avoid tobacco
- Exercise daily
Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact a Top10MD Nephrologist today.
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