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Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 01.06.2018

The nephrologist is a doctor whose activities are directly related to nephrology (from "nephros" - "kidney", "logos" - "teaching") - a field of medicine that studies the functional characteristics of the kidneys, as well as various diseases that result from failure of the work of these vital organs.

In addition, the competence of the nephrologist is the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of kidney diseases, as well as observation of patients who, for one reason or another, have a kidney transplanted.

It should be noted that due to the development of diseases that affect the kidneys, general disorders of the organism are manifested. Modern medicine has proved that because of chronic kidney diseases, the work of other vital organs worsens, for example, cardiovascular diseases progress.

Who is a nephrologist?

The nephrologist as a medical specialist is directly connected with the examination and treatment of patients suffering from various kidney diseases - unique organs whose work is difficult to overestimate. Kidneys perform the most important function in the human body: they remove water from it and the substances dissolved in it - so-called. Slags and final products of exchange. It's hard to imagine, but a day through such a powerful "filter" is about 180 liters of blood! This figure indicates a titanic load of the kidneys, so it is not surprising what the decrease in their function may lead to.

So, the answer to the question "Who is a nephrologist?" Is obvious: it is a doctor who performs diagnostics, treatment (including outpatient) of various renal diseases and prescribes preventive measures aimed at preventing recurrent manifestations of a disease. Basically, the nephrologist appoints patients medication and phytoprophylaxis. With acute currents and chronic exacerbations of kidney diseases, the doctor conducts effective treatment of patients in the hospital, and also selects an adequate dietary regimen individually for patients with metabolic disorders and reduced renal function. Useful advice and recommendations from an experienced nephrologist will help patients adhere to the optimal diet that supports normal kidney function in a stable regime.

When should I go to the nephrologist?

The nephrologist will help patients who have various problems with kidney function. In order for the treatment of renal diseases to give effective results, it is important for the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis on the basis of laboratory tests and diagnostic studies. There are a number of symptoms that arise when developing a particular kidney disease. When they are detected, an urgent consultation with a specialist doctor is required.

When should I go to the nephrologist? First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the following symptoms and signs, indicating the development of kidney disease:

  • frequent / rare urge and sharp pain when urinating;
  • pain in the lower back (lower back);
  • change in color and smell of urine (presence of blood impurities);
  • puffiness in certain areas of the body (on the hands and feet, face);
  • a sharp increase in blood pressure;
  • urinary incontinence (uncontrolled urination);
  • an increase in temperature, which is accompanied by an asymptomatic course of the disease.

Even one of the above symptoms should be the reason for the visit to the nephrologist. It is necessary to remember the seriousness of the situation, therefore, in no case should you delay the trip to the doctor, tk. This is fraught with burdensome consequences, dangerous for human life.

Consultation of a nephrologist is also appropriate when a person has:

  • violation of lipid metabolism;
  • obvious abnormalities in the general analysis of urine (in particular, an elevated level of protein in the urine);
  • high blood pressure;
  • development of diabetes mellitus.

A nephrologist needs a child if he complains of painful urination (this can be evidenced by the crying of the baby every time you urinate). Also, attention should be paid to the nature of the jet when urinating (especially in boys), which may be intermittent or non-pressurized. Parents should be alerted to the decrease in the child's daily urine output, or, conversely, its significant excess. The reason for the consultation with a pediatric nephrologist should be the nighttime urination of a child who reached the age of 4, as well as any changes in the urine (color, transparency, odor).

What tests should I take when I contact a nephrologist?

The nephrologist during the admission of the patient appoints a survey that will help to establish the diagnosis of the disease, its course and severity with maximum accuracy. This is necessary in order to determine the optimal treatment according to the results of the examination, which will help to get rid of the problems associated with various disorders and malfunctions in the kidneys.

Often, before visiting a nephrologist, many people are interested in the question: "What tests should I take when I contact a nephrologist?" Of course, to establish the main causes of kidney disease, in addition to the history of the disease, the results of analyzes are needed. The evaluation of laboratory tests is carried out according to the level of urea, ESR, creatinine, electrolytes, results of urinolysis, analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP), urine analysis. With the help of a 24-hour urine collection, reliable information can be obtained about the level of kidney function, their filtering ability and protein loss, which is observed with the development of some kidney diseases.

Among other medical tests and analyzes, often prescribed by a nephrologist, it can be noted:

  • biochemical analysis of blood / urine;
  • US of kidneys, urinary tract and abdominal cavity organs;
  • computed tomography of kidneys (CT);
  • X-ray examination of the kidneys;
  • a kidney biopsy;
  • magnetic resonance imaging of the kidneys (MRI);
  • ophthalmoscopy (examination of the fundus);
  • scintigraphy (radionuclide medicine);
  • angiographic examination in vascular lesions;
  • excretory urography and urine culture;
  • radioisotope study of the kidneys.

The nephrologist himself determines the need for the patient to take laboratory tests depending on the symptoms and peculiarities of the course of the kidney disease. That is, in each individual case, the doctor will select the most optimal tests and tests to accurately determine the diagnosis of the disease.

What diagnostic methods does the nephrologist use?

The nephrologist aims to accurately diagnose kidney disease for the subsequent administration of medication using effective methods. In addition to laboratory tests of blood and urine, the doctor prescribes to patients additional test procedures that will help in diagnosing the diagnosis.

What diagnostic methods does the nephrologist use? Basically, this is an internal study of the kidneys, helping to establish the level of their functioning, the causes of the existing disorders and the nature of the disease. Ultrasound of the abdominal and kidney organs, kidney biopsy (in case of impossibility of diagnosis), CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of kidneys are used for these purposes . In addition to these studies, the patient may need a radionuclide examination (scintigraphy) and an X-ray examination (angiography) of the kidneys. The appointment of a diagnostic procedure is performed by the nephrologist individually.

It should be noted the importance of timely detection of kidney disease in order to prevent irreversible processes leading to complete disruption of kidney functions as vital organs of the human body. So, with the progression of the disease to chronic kidney failure, dialysis and even kidney transplantation are often necessary. Therefore, timely diagnosis of the disease for the purpose of treatment plays a crucial role in the examination of the patient. Modern equipment used in medical centers makes it possible to provide high quality of diagnostic methods such as excretory urography, ultrasound, CT and MRI of kidneys.

A nephrologist as a medical specialist must possess modern knowledge and have a sufficiently rich experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with a variety of pathologies and disorders in the work of the kidneys. The final result of the patient's treatment depends on the professional skills of the nephrologist.

What does the nephrologist do?

The nephrologist is a doctor whose patients are most often people with urolithiasis, pyelonephritis, nephroptosis, kidney failure and other diseases that pose a danger to the entire body.

What does the nephrologist do? First of all, he diagnoses and treats kidney diseases at various stages of the development of a particular ailment. Certainly, it is better to ask the doctor for qualified help early in the development of the disease as soon as possible, rather than because of irreversible processes to fight for life on the operating table.

Often among the patients of the nephrologist there are patients with hydronephrosis, glomerulonephritis, and also having kidney cysts. In any case, the doctor is very important to correctly diagnose, and then to appoint the most effective treatment, depending on the patient's condition and the results of the tests performed. Thus, with kidney diseases, the exact diagnosis is key, since not only the final outcome of the treatment, but also the life of the person, can depend on this stage.

At the reception the doctor will examine the patient, listen to his complaints, make an anamnesis, including the question of hereditary predispositions. The next stage will be the examination and delivery of tests, the results of which the nephrologist must carefully read to make a diagnosis of the disease. After that, the patient will be treated at home or outpatient, all depends on the severity of the kidney disease. In addition, the doctor is obliged to prescribe the right diet for patients, which is especially important in cases of violations of the kidneys, or the presence of kidney stones.

What diseases does the nephrologist treat?

The nephrologist deals exclusively with the diagnosis and medication of kidney diseases, in contrast to the urologist, whose duties most often involve the surgical treatment of diseases of all organs of the urinary system of man, as well as the male reproductive system.

What diseases does the nephrologist treat? In our time, among the patients of this medical specialist, you can increasingly meet people suffering from:

  • drug damage of the kidneys;
  • urolithiasis (urolithiasis);
  • jade (kidney disease, which is inflammatory);
  • pyelonephritis (involvement of the kidney parenchyma as a result of an infectious-inflammatory process);
  • chronic renal failure;
  • glomerulonephritis (immune glomeruli of the kidney);
  • amyloidosis of the kidneys (metabolic disorders, which results in the development of the so-called "amyloid" - a substance that affects internal organs);
  • hypertensive disease, accompanied by kidney damage, etc.

The competence of the nephrologist does not include diseases requiring surgical intervention: for example, tuberculosis and various kidney tumors, the formation of large stones in the kidneys, the presence of an abnormal structure or an abnormal anatomical location of the kidneys. In such cases, patients are referred to a urologist.

Kidney diseases are often accompanied by symptoms such as a sharp fever, fever, chills, pain in the lower back or pelvic organs, as well as various changes in the urine. These symptoms can occur due to a viral or catarrhal disease, or medication and poisoning. Whatever it was, the pain signals the development of the disease, so it's important to turn to a nephrologist in time to not delay this very dangerous process.

Advices of a nephrologist

The nephrologist as a medical specialist is obliged not only to diagnose and treat kidney diseases, but also to take an active part in their prevention, giving patients valuable advice and advice.

The advice of a nephrologist is connected, above all, with proper nutrition. It is known that excessive consumption of salt leads to thirst, which, in turn, requires the intake of more water. As a result, swelling develops, and pressure may also increase. It is advisable to salt food directly in a plate, after measuring the daily dose, which for people with kidney problems is 7 grams.

For patients suffering from kidney failure, it is necessary to develop a special diet that excludes the consumption of canned food, fried foods, fish, rich meat broths, as well as legumes and dried fruits. Dairy products and fresh fruit should be consumed in limited quantities. Preferably eat poultry, lamb, various dishes cooked on steam. You can replenish the caloric content of the food with the help of fats and carbohydrates, adding olive oil, macaroni, porridges, kissels, honey to the diet.

After surgical intervention to remove the kidney, the patient should reconsider his lifestyle. So, he will have to give up bad habits and observe a special diet, limiting the consumption of foods rich in protein, as well as smoked products, fried foods, spicy seasonings. Vegetable food must prevail in the diet. Some time after the operation, the volume of daily liquid should not exceed 2-2.5 liters.

It is advisable for every person to take blood and urine tests every six months or a quarter for timely detection of abnormalities in the work of internal organs, including kidneys. It is advisable to visit the nephrologist as often as possible, especially if the person has already experienced problems related to kidney function.

The nephrologist will definitely help in the event that a person has any deviations in the work of the kidneys. It is important to turn to an experienced doctor in time to prevent the development of a dangerous disease, because then the treatment will be more difficult and time-consuming.

It is important to know!

The development of chronic renal failure is possible already in the neonatal period. In this case, the clearance of creatinine in newborns with chronic renal failure is less than 30 ml / min, and at the age of 6 months they already need dialysis. Read more..

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