Nephrologists are essential in helping those with kidney disease and kidney failure to survive. These doctors are especially trained in nephrology, which is the internal medicine study that focuses on the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of kidney related and renal problems. Nephrology physicians perform tasks such as dialysis, which helps treat and clear the blood. They also assist their patients with kidney and renal transplants, hypertension–a term for chronic high blood pressure–and monitoring kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Some of these diseases associated with the kidneys can be a result of an imbalance in the electrolytes in the body, or chronic renal tract and bladder infections. If you are worried about one of these problems, or are concerned that you may need a transplant or peritoneal dialysis, you should immediately contact a nephrologist. These doctors can provide you with an accurate diagnosis for your medical condition and begin treatment before you get to the point that you are suffering from kidney failure.
If you have a child that you believe is suffering from a severe kidney infection of condition, you need to find a pediatric nephrologist right away. Begin by asking your general care physician for recommendations. However, you can also use the internet or phonebook for local doctors. Once you have a list, contact several physicians until you find one that you are comfortable with treating you or your child. Consider visiting a few of them before making your final choice. It never hurts to get a second opinion when it comes to your health.
The following are some terms you may encounter while dealing with a nephrologist.
Allograft: An allograft is a transplant of an organ or tissue from one individual to another.
Biopsy: A biopsy is an examination of a body part. In order to perform a biopsy, a very small piece of the bladder, kidney, or other body part must be removed and inspected under a microscope.
Cross-matching: Cross-matching is checking to assure that the blood of a donor and the blood of a recipient are compatible. This is essential in determining whether or not the body of a donation recipient will accept the donor’s organ.
Dialysis: Dialysis is a medical procedure, typically performed under the direction of a nephrologist, that removes waste from the blood. This is necessary when a patient’s kidneys do not function properly.
Hematocrit: Hematocrit is a method that doctors use to determine how many red blood cells are present in a patient’s blood.
Intravenous Pyelogram: An intravenous pyelogram examines the urinary tract via x-ray. A special fluid must be injected into the patient in order to perform an intravenous pyelogram. Intravenous pyelograms are able to locate urinary tract obstructions.
Nuclear Scan: A nuclear scan examines the kidneys, including their function and structure. This is accomplished through the use of a mildly radioactive fluid that is injected into the body, which is tracked via x-ray.
Nephropathy: Nephropathy is an internal medicine term that refers to a kidney disease. There are doctors who specialize in nephrology, or the study of kidneys.
Renal: Renal is an internal medicine term that refers to an illness, disease or disorder having to do with the kidneys. For instance, renal failure is kidney failure and renal disease is a disease in the kidney.
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