How a Kidney Specialist can Help Treat Your Kidney Disease

kidney specialist

A kidney specialist is also known as a nephrologist. Image via Freepik

There are some types of kidney disease that can be treated depending on the root cause of the condition. And the best way to treat the disease is with the help of a kidney specialist. The treatment involves measures to help control the symptoms, slow down the progression of the disease, and reduce complications.

What is a Kidney Specialist?

A kidney specialist is also known as a nephrologist. One specializes in treating diseases of the kidneys and in kidney care. The term comes from nephros, which is the Greek word pertaining to kidney, and ologist, which refers to a person who studies.

Nephrologists are also known as kidney doctors who have studied internal medicine and underwent training to specialize in treating people suffering from kidney diseases. Some of the kidney conditions that a kidney doctor specialist can treat include chronic kidney disease, acute renal failure, polycystic kidney disease, high blood pressure, and kidney stones.

Why Should You See a Kidney Specialist?

nephrologist supporting his patient

nephrologist supporting his patient. Image via Freepik

Kidney disease is a silent killer, and millions of people are at risk or affected by it without them knowing it. And by the time they were diagnosed with the disease, the kidneys are already severely damaged. You might seem to be completely healthy today, but your kidney might be already deteriorating each day.

At present, there are no known treatments to reverse damage to the kidney. The best treatment is to manage the condition, stop its progression, and avoid additional damage. Early precautions can also help prevent regular dialysis or even a kidney transplant.

Early detection is the best way to prevent more kidney damage. It will give you enough time to stop further deterioration of the kidneys. And that’s why you need to consult with a kidney specialist. While a general practitioner can handle a wide range of health conditions, kidney doctors are trained to handle diseases of the kidney. 

A kidney doctor nephrologist takes care of patients with problems related to the kidneys, high blood pressure, or some types of metabolic conditions. If you feel something is wrong with your kidneys, then you need to see a nephrologist right away. During the first consultation, the doctor will go through your medical history and do a complete physical exam.

Then the kidney specialist will run a series of urine and blood tests to determine how the kidneys are functioning. The doctor may request for an ultrasound or perform a biopsy of the kidneys to determine what is wrong with the organs. However, keep in mind that kidney doctors are not surgeons, and they can’t perform operations. Prostate operations, removal of kidney stones, and treatment of kidney cancer are handled by an urologist.

What If Find Something Wrong With My Kidney?

cause of kidney deficiency

Causes of Kidney Deficiency. Image via Freepik

If the kidney specialist finds something wrong with the patient’s kidney, then the doctor will diagnose the root cause of the problem and prescribe a treatment plan. If it is a kidney disease, the specialist will do some tests to find out what stage of the disease the patient is in, and determine the best treatment plan.

The nephrologist will also refer the patient to a renal social worker; nurse and dietician who will help take care of the patient. If the individual requires a kidney transplant or dialysis, then the kidney specialist will refer the patient to a transplant center or discuss the best type of dialysis to treat the condition.

The kidney doctor specialist typically meets with dialysis patients a couple of days each month. And for other patients, the doctor sees them every one to three months. During a checkup, the doctor looks at the medical condition of the patient, provides treatment for new problems, modify dialysis prescription when needed, prescribe or refill medications, and check test results.

During checkups, the kidney specialist will also adjust blood pressure medicines and will adjust or start therapy for other problems that include high cholesterol, anemia, and diabetes. And because a nephrologist has training in general internal medicine, one can treat patients for other conditions aside from kidney problems. It is important for patients to tell the doctor about changes in their health.

When to Start Seeing a Kidney Specialist?

discussion with specialist

discussion with specialist. Image via Freepik

More often than not, a general practitioner will refer you to a kidney specialist when tests show abnormalities of the kidney or there are symptoms of kidney disease. That’s the time when you start seeing a nephrologist. 

Some of the common reasons why patients are referred to kidney doctors include acute renal failure or abnormal functions of the kidney; chronic kidney disease; presence of proteins, crystals or blood in the urine; recurring or long-term kidney infections; kidney stones; acid imbalance; cancers of the urinary bladder or kidneys; and diabetic kidney disease; just to name a few.

A kidney doctor specialist usually works together with urologists who are able to do surgeries on the kidney, bladder, urethra and the ureters. It is important to consult with a kidney doctor as soon as you see symptoms of kidney disease. Early detection is the best way you can fight the disease.

When your primary care doctor refers you to a kidney specialist, you should make the appointment right away. It doesn’t matter whether you are feeling find or not. A lot of patients don’t see kidney doctors because they feel fine, and the appointment will just be a waste of time and money.

How to Choose the Right Kidney Specialist?

choosing rightful specialist

choosing rightful specialist. Image via Freepik

When it comes to choosing the right kidney specialist, it is important that you find one that provides high-quality care. One should not just see the patient as another paycheck. Instead, look for a doctor who is genuinely concerned about your well-being.

You should also check whether the doctor is qualified to treat your kidney disease in the state. Having board certification will ensure that the doctor has the required training, experience, and skills needed in treating kidneys. You should also find out if the kidney specialist has occurred any disciplinary actions or malpractice claims. You should also check the doctor’s other qualifications, such as medical and training schools, and other certifications. 

The experience of the kidney specialist should also be one of the factors to consider. The more experience a doctor has with treating kidney disease, the better the results will be. Find out how many patients with the same conditions as you are the doctor has treated in the past. If the treatment plan involves a specific procedure, ask how many procedures the doctor has done in the past. 

consider Your location

Another factor to consider is the location of the kidney doctors. Look for the right balance between the travel time and the ideal kidney specialist. Find out how far the doctor’s office is to your home or workplace. The location must be accessible to public transport if you are not going to drive going to your doctor’s appointment.

The doctor’s hospital will be your hospital. And that’s why you should consider the quality of care that the hospital and dialysis center where the kidney specialist treats one’s, patients. Quality of the hospital is a top concern because patients of top rated hospitals suffer from fewer complications and have higher survival rates. 

Another Tips

If you have insurance, then you should ask kidney doctors if they accept it. Health insurance can help keep the cost of the treatment at a bearable level. Most kidney specialists accept insurance from major providers.

It is also important to choose the doctor whose appointment times are convenient for you. There are some specialists who offer weekend or even evening hours. This is good if you are going to see the doctor after work. This way you will be able to keep your appointments with the doctor.

You should also consider what patients have to say about the doctor and one’s medical practice. Patient satisfaction surveys provide valuable information about patients’ experiences with regards to wait time, office staff friendliness, office environment, and scheduling appointments. The surveys also show how patients trust doctors, and how much time each session lasts.

Choose Suitable Nephrologist

Get Diagnosed Enlarged Kidney

Get Diagnosed Enlarged Kidney

Lastly, choose the kidney specialist who you are comfortable with. This is important because you need to develop a relationship with the person. And that’s why the doctor must be someone who you can share your concerns. It is important that you find a doctor who takes the time to answer all your questions. Not only that, the staff must also be helpful and friendly.

A kidney specialist is the best person who can make sure that you get the right treatment for your kidney disease. If you are diagnosed or suspected to have kidney disease, it is recommended that you make an appointment with a kidney doctor as soon as possible. This scan helps slow down the progression of your kidney disease.

One of the best ways to find the right nephrologist is through the referral of your primary care doctor. You can also ask for referrals from your family and friends. It is important that you take the time to do some research on the doctor’s experience and credentials. And when you narrowed down your list, call their offices and ask for a consultation appointment so that you can meet the kidney doctors in person.

Questions to Ask You Meet with a Kidney Specialist

nephrologist consulting patient

nephrologist consulting patient. Image via Freepik

When you are referred to a kidney specialist, it is important that you prepare for the first encounter. Below are some of the questions that you should ask the doctor during the first meeting.

Why Was I Referred to You?

A lot of people don’t know the reason why they were referred to a kidney specialist. The referring doctor may require the opinion of an expert, and that’s why you were asked to see a nephrologist.

Why Are My Kidneys Not Functioning Properly?

You are asked to see a kidney doctor if your kidney shows reduced cleaning capabilities or not able to balance the fluid in the body. These are two signs that the function of the kidney is impaired. These are also symptoms of a deteriorating kidney. The specialist can determine why your kidneys are not working properly, and provide appropriate treatments.

What Is The Condition of My Kidneys?

When the kidneys are not functioning properly, it is important that you know how damaged your kidneys are. There are some conditions that cause damage beyond repair. And the amount of damage increases over time. It is important to know the condition of kidneys and monitor the progress of the treatment over subsequent visits to the kidney doctor.

How Fast Is the Decline of My Kidney’s Function?

The good news is that some conditions are only temporary, but there are some that cause permanent damage. Some conditions connected with continued loss of function and the rate of the decline will be the basis of the treatment plan made by the nephrologist.

What Can I Do to Delay or Reverse the Damage to My Kidneys?

The goal of any treatment plan is to preserve the functions of the kidney. This can be or can’t be possible based on your health situation and medical condition. The kidney specialist can provide you with the information to help you understand the condition of your kidneys, and what it takes to preserve their functions.

What Are My Choices in Treating My Kidney Disease?

The degree of your kidney function loss determines your treatment options. There are options to slow down or reverse the progression of your disease. The kidney doctor nephrologist can explain the various options so that you can make the right decision.

Who Should I Contact When I Experience New Problems?

Once you understand the role of the kidney specialist, you should ask whether you can call him or her when you have questions about kidney disease or other concerns regarding your condition. There are several health conditions that are affected by a dysfunctional kidney, and these influence the treatment plan created by the kidney doctor.

These are the things that you need to know about a kidney specialist, and how one can help when you are suffering from kidney disease. If you are looking for an alternative kidney disease solution, then check out Kidney Solution Program. It is a review of a holistic treatment program that combines modern and ancient remedies that improves the body’s ability to heal.

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