What is a Nephrologist and When Should You See One?

doctor talking to patient about kidney disease

According to the CDC, “15% of US adults or 37 million people have chronic kidney disease.” It’s not called kidney health for no reason, it quite literally has the power to affect many aspects of your health—from the body to lifestyle. But to define it more clearly, kidney health is the state of well-being in relation to the functioning, maintenance, and protection of your kidneys.

So choosing to care for your kidneys means choosing to care for your well-being. But who do you see for your kidney health or lack thereof and when is it necessary to see them?

All About Your Go-To For Kidney Health: What is a Nephrologist?

When you’re dealing with kidney issues, you’ll want to see your local nephrologist. But what is a nephrologist? They specialize in treating diseases and conditions related to the kidneys.

And if you find your kidney health to be in jeopardy, no need to fret—they can work with you to create a treatment plan based on your condition and your unique health needs. 

Conditions a Nephrologist Treats?

Now that you know the answer to the question of what is a nephrologist, the next step is knowing what conditions they can help to treat. There is a multitude of conditions that your nephrologist can help with. The most common include the following:

  • Cystic kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • End-stage renal (kidney) disease
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Kidney infections.

What is the Difference Between a Nephrologist and Urologist?

Contrary to popular belief, a nephrologist and urologist do different things. While a urologist specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the urinary tract, a nephrologist is typically the one to treat any issues that have been caused by kidney disease.

So, be cautious when trying to differentiate between a nephrologist and a urologist. And if you’re ever in doubt, always check with your doctor.

When Should You See a Nephrologist?

You might be referred to a nephrologist if you have any of the following: 

  • If you have high blood pressure, this could point to some underlying kidney issues.
  • If there is a family history of kidney disease, you’ll want to get checked regularly.
  • If you have diabetes and/or are experiencing episodes of brain fog, this could be symptomatic of poor kidney health.
  • If you’re experiencing any changes in urination such as increased frequency and/or pain, this could be a sign that it’s time to get checked.

And if none of these apply to you but you’re still feeling unwell, it’s never a bad idea to listen to your body and have a check-up. With this being said, staying on top of your health can help prevent any further issues down the road.

Make Your Kidney Health a Top Priority at the Texas Kidney Institute

Whether you’re looking for a nephrologist or need kidney-related advice, the Texas Kidney Institute is here to help. With our team of dedicated professionals and state-of-the-art facilities—your kidney health will be at the top of our priority list.

Contact us today to say bye-bye to kidney-related issues and hello to a healthier lifestyle. Let us help you get on track with your kidney health today!