What is nephrology?

Nephrology is the specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases, including electrolyte disturbances and hypertension, as well the care of those requiring renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis and kidney transplantation. Many diseases affecting the kidney are systemic disorders not limited to the organ itself, and may require special treatment.

When you should see a nephrologist?

Nephrologists treat a large array of disorders such as:

  • Diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes which can sometimes affect the function of our kidneys.
  • Renal failure: Sudden or gradual loss in kidney function, described as acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease, respectively.
  • Glomerular disorders: affecting the filtering system in the kidney,
  • Investigation of urine abnormalities which may be due to disorders affecting the kidneys
  • Tubulointerstitial diseases: disorders that affect parts of the kidney which help to prepare urine after blood has been filtered.
  • Renal vascular disease: affecting blood supply to, or within the kidney.
  • Medications for the treatment of kidney stones (sometimes needed in addition to treatments offered by urologists who are surgical specialists treating stone disease).
  • Kidney infections.
  • Disorder of the immune system such as lupus or vasculitis affecting the kidney.

Common Investigations and Treatments

In diagnosing cause, extent and the effects of kidney disease, in addition to history, physical examination and a review of any existing medications, tests including those of blood and urine, as well as imaging (such as ultrasound) and in a few cases, further tests such as a kidney biopsy may be required.

Treatment typically depends on the cause and severity of kidney disease. A number of disorders affecting the kidney can be treated or controlled with the help of medications. In a minority of patients affected by kidney disease, inexorable loss of kidney function over time despite optimal treatment might necessitate the replacement of the filtering function of the kidneys by treatments such as dialysis or transplantation. If these latter treatments are deemed likely or imminent, appropriate referrals will be made in accordance to patient needs as these are not provided by Shalbourne Private Health Care.

How can Shalbourne Private Health Care help?

Shalbourne offers you fast, direct and convenient appointments with a Nephrologist. In discussion with you, your Nephrologist will aim to undertake the assessments described above to arrive at a diagnosis, and advise on further treatment along with follow up options.