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A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your kidney. Nephrologists are experts in kidney function who also study how kidney disease can harm other areas of your body.
Your kidneys are involved in several important bodily functions, including:
What conditions do nephrologists treat?
Nephrologists diagnose and treat several conditions that affect your kidneys. They also get involved when other health factors contribute to kidney disease and dysfunction, such as:
What procedures do nephrologists perform?
Nephrologists will perform different procedures depending on the reason for your visit. For initial visits, your nephrologist may perform diagnostic tests, such as blood tests and urinalysis. Depending on your lab results, a nephrologist may also perform the following procedures:
When should I contact a nephrologist?
Usually, your primary care physician will refer you to a nephrologist when they suspect you have kidney-related symptoms that a specialist knows how to treat. Some of the most common reasons for a visit to a nephrologist include chronic urinary tract infections or recurring kidney stones. However, you may need to visit a nephrologist more often if you have:
What can I expect from a nephrologist appointment?
You can expect your nephrologist to conduct a standard physical exam during your first appointment. Then your nephrologist will ask questions about any medications you currently take and your family history.
Depending on your symptoms, your nephrologist may also recommend additional tests, such as a urinalysis. They will then discuss your treatment plan and go over recommended medications, lifestyle changes, and future appointments.
What questions should I ask my nephrologist?
It’s important that you prepare for your appointment with your nephrologist. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of good questions to ask:
You may use these questions as a starting point, but feel free to add your own. A good practice is to also ask for additional information and take notes during your appointment.