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Good Kidney Doctor

Kidney & It's work

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters, one on each side of the bladder. The bladder stores urine. The muscles of the bladder wall remain relaxed while the bladder fills with urine. As the bladder fills to capacity, signals sent to the brain tell a person to find a toilet soon. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder. In men the urethra is long, while in women it is short.

Why are the kidneys important?

The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function. They

  • prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
  • keep levels of electrolytes stable, such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate
  • make hormones that help
    • regulate blood pressure
    • make red blood cells
    • bones stay strong

How do the kidneys work?

The kidney is not one large filter. Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron filters a small amount of blood. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes. The final product becomes urine.

Points to Remember

Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.

The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function.

Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule.

The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes.

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work

When to see a Nephrologist

Nephrologists are physicians who deal with diseases of the kidneys and fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

Patients are first examined and assessed by general physicians who refer them to nephrologists when kidney disease or abnormalities are confirmed.

Some of the common reasons for referral to a nephrologist who specializes in kidney diseases include:-

  • Acute renal failure or sudden loss of kidney functions
  • Chronic renal/kidney disease or CKD with long term decline in kidney functions
  • Presence of blood, proteins or casts and crystals in the urine
  • Long term or recurring kidney infections including cystitis (bladder infections) and Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
  • Kidney stones or patients who have recurrence of kidney stone formation
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Acid base imbalance or electrolyte disorders
  • Cancers of the kidneys or urinary bladder
  • Diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease
  • Hypertensive nephrosclerosis or kidney damage due to high blood pressure
  • Atheroembolic kidney disease or kidney damage due to atherosclerosis and resulting thrombosis
  • Renal blood vessel disease
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Acute tubular necrosis
  • Dialysis and its long term complications - dialysis includes hemodialysis as well as peritoneal dialysis
  • Autoimmune diseases including autoimmune vasculitis, lupus, etc.
  • Hydronephrosis or damage to the kidneys due to backward flow of urine possibly due to obstruction in the outflow of urine.
  • Tubulo/interstitial renal diseases
  • Cystic diseases including polycystic kidney disease where fluid filled sacs are formed in the kidney impairing functions
  • Drugs or toxins that have caused kidney damage
  • Clinical disorders of major electrolytes (Potassium K+, Calcium Ca2+, Magnesium Mg2+, Phosphates PO42-)

Nephrology and urology

The nephrologist usually works in conjunction with Urologists who deal with the surgical aspects of kidney disease and diseases of the bladder, ureters and urethra.

https://www.news-medical.net/health/When-to-see-a-Nephrologist.aspx

Choosing a Kidney Doctor When You Have Kidney Disease

When you're diagnosed with early stage kidney disease, you may need to visit a kidney specialist (also called a nephrologist). With just a little research, you can find the nephrologist that fits your needs when you need help in retaining kidney function for as long as possible.

Why is it important to see a kidney doctor?

Although your primary care physician (PCP) is trained to handle a wide range of health conditions, a kidney doctor has been trained as an expert in kidney function and diseases of the kidney.

When should I start seeing a kidney doctor?

If you've recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you'll want to find a kidney doctor as soon as possible. A nephrologist can run diagnostic tests to determine the current state of your kidneys and prescribe the best treatment course for your stage of CKD.

Where do I start my kidney doctor search?

Here are a couple of suggestions on how to start:

If friends or family members have been touched in some way by kidney disease, ask if they can suggest a kidney specialist. Your primary care physician (PCP) can also recommend a kidney doctor for you. If you need to see the doctor immediately, there's no need to worry. You can switch to a different nephrologist after your first visit if you'd like.

What should I look for in a kidney doctor?

Beyond simply seeking high quality care, there may be secondary considerations to take into account when choosing a doctor:

  • Location – You'll need to find a balance between the ideal doctor and travel time, so consider how close he or she is to your home or workplace.
  • Insurance – If you have health insurance, make sure that the doctor you choose accepts it.
  • Availability – If possible, choose a doctor whose office is able to schedule convenient appointment times and keep them. Some doctors may offer evening or weekend hours, which could be more suitable for you.
  • Compatibility – It's important to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable. You’ll be developing a relationship with this person and it's essential that you feel relaxed enough to share any issues you may have. You'll want to find someone who will take the time to answer your questions. It's also important that the doctor's staff is friendly and helpful.

Kidney doctors are a vital resource in ensuring that you receive the proper treatment for your early stage CKD.

https://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/overview/choosing-a-kidney-doctor/choosing-a-kidney-doctor-when-you-have-kidney-disease/e/6435

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