You call a kidney doctor a nephrologist. “Nephrology” is derived from the Greek word “nephros” and describes the kidneys. Nephrology is the study of the kidneys. A nephrologist is, therefore, a kidney doctor.
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What is Nephrology
It is a medical discipline that primarily deals with the kidneys, especially with their function and possible diseases and their diagnosis and therapy. Nephrology has become an increasingly important part of internal medicine.
The implementation of all extracorporeal blood purification procedures (dialysis, apheresis, immunoadsorption) and the care of patients with a transplanted kidney also fall within the specialist field of nephrology.
Nephrology is much more than “just” dialysis medicine – on the contrary, the subject covers a wide range of topics. Besides, nephrology has many interfaces with other subjects. Interdisciplinary work is, therefore, part of everyday clinical practice for nephrologists.
A nephrologist means a professional title protected by professional law and may only be used by doctors who have completed specialist training. Pediatric nephrology is an independent branch of pediatrics.
Kidney diseases usually occur with systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, vascular inflammation (vasculitis), etc.
Difference between Urologist and Nephrologist
An urologist has more surgical training. He deals primarily with the urinary tract (urinary drainage) and the male reproductive organs (penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate, vesicle gland). The urinary tract includes the urethra, bladder, and ureters.
For urologists, the kidney focuses on attention when it comes to urinary flow problems and kidney tumors. Of course, there is an overlap between the two disciplines.
For example, chronic urinary obstruction can lead to so-called postrenal kidney failure, or even after removing the kidneys (nephrectomy), dialysis can become mandatory.
In the case of many symptoms, such as blood in the urine (hematuria), especially if only traces of blood can be detected in the test strip or under the microscope (microhematuria), it is advisable to see both disciplines.
In the case of any urological disease with increased kidney values (increased creatinine), it makes sense to see a nephrologist. A timely presentation to the nephrologist can usually delay or even prevent the need for dialysis.
Why People Need Nephrologist
Our kidneys are real all-rounders! They filter the entire amount of blood up to 300 times a day.
In total, up to 1,800 liters pass through the kidneys every day. This corresponds to 1.5 liters of urine daily.
If kidney tissue dies, regeneration is not possible. Kidney damage also affects other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain.
A broad education and close cooperation with geriatricians, cardiologists, diabetologists, and rheumatologists, therefore distinguish nephrologists’ work.
Prevention, early detection, modern diagnostics, and adapted therapies are of great importance, especially for the kidneys. A trusted doctor-patient relationship is crucial for successful treatment.
Nephrologists need to get a comprehensive picture of the living situation of their patients. It’s about finding the right treatment path together. This path begins in the nephrological consultation hour.
Often a lot has already been done for the kidneys when patients change their lifestyle and eating habits. If that is not enough, the use of medication is suggested.