Nephrology, or renal medicine, is a specialty that concerns itself with kidney function and dysfunction, and is a specialty belonging to internal medicine. Kidney disease requiring a surgical solution, diseases of urinary tract, and the male reproductive system disease are areas covered by the urology specialty.
The main tasks of the kidneys are: excreting toxins, ions and fluid; striving to maintain the correct acid-base balance in the body; participating in the regulation of blood pressure; being responsible for blood production; influencing bone metabolism; and playing a role in glucose regulation.
When should you contact a nephrologist?
- If you experience acute deterioration of kidney function or renal failure
- If you have chronic renal failure
- If you have a high serum potassium level
- If you have protein and / or blood in the urine
- If you have fluid retention (edema) or reduced urine volume
- If you are looking for the reason for or symptoms of high blood pressure (especially if renal function is impaired or if there is a possibility of renal artery stenosis)
- If you are diabetic, if there is detectable protein excretion and/or deterioration of kidney function
- In order to test for and treat urinary tract infections (especially if recurring), or pyelonephritis (renal pelvis inflammation)
- If you have an immune disease in which the kidneys are affected (e.g. lupus – SLE)
- If you have an inherited renal disease (e.g. polycystic kidney disease)