A nephrologist is a doctor whose specialty is kidney health, but is that all?
Do nephrology doctors treat only conditions of the kidneys, or do they take care of the urinary tract in general? Can nephrologists treat diabetes and hypertension, two conditions that often go hand in hand with kidney disease?
Here’s what Alberto Casaretto, MD, an experienced nephrologist at Florida Kidney Physicians, says on the matter.
What (and how) do nephrologists treat?
Nephrologists treat health conditions of the kidneys. Although nephrologists have extensive knowledge about other parts of the urinary tract as well, urologists are the real experts on this part of the human body.
That said, nephrologists treat any kind of health condition you can imagine, including:
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Chronic and acute infections of the kidneys
- Acute and chronic kidney failure
- Kidney stones
- Kidney cancer
In most cases, the first line of treatment a nephrologist considers is always conservative (without surgery). For example, your nephrologist may suggest you to control your blood sugar better through dietary changes, or treat your hypertension to prevent high blood pressure from damaging the kidneys. If needed, the nephrologist may also prescribe various medications depending on the situation.
Sometimes, your nephrologist may recommend carrying out a kidney biopsy to confirm or rule out a particular diagnosis like kidney cancer. In this case, the physician uses a fine needle to puncture the kidney and extract some of its tissue for further examination.
In the vast majority of cases, nephrology doctors do not perform surgeries themselves. However, they always work closely with the surgical team to ensure everything goes as well as possible.
Do nephrologists perform dialysis?
Dialysis is a complex procedure that’s carried out by a whole team of experienced professionals.
As a rule, nephrologists are the team leaders of dialysis teams, and they work closely with vascular access experts, nephrology nurses, biomedical technicians, and other professionals as well.
How do nephrologists approach diabetes and hypertension?
In general, the specialist that takes care of diabetes is an endocrinologist, while cardiologists and primary care specialists treat arterial hypertension.
However, both conditions have a massive impact on kidney health, so nephrologists often work together with the patient's endocrinologist and cardiologist to come up with an optimal treatment approach that would take into account all the involved factors.
All nephrologists at Florida Kidney Physicians are specialists in arterial hypertension, and some of them specialize in diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage) as well. Rest assured that the health of your kidneys will be in good hands!
Although nephrologists are kidney specialists, our mission goes well beyond just kidney health. Here at Florida Kidney Physicians, our goal is to make people’s lives better: without pain, discomfort, or needless worries.
For an individual consultation, make an appointment with one of our experienced professionals and let’s see how we can help your health to shine at its brightest!