Nephrology is the sub-specialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney. Nephrologists specialize in treating diseases that affect kidney performance, like diabetes, as well as diseases that are caused by kidney dysfunction, like hypertension. They do this by regulating fluids, electrolytes, and blood pressure, while also incorporating drug therapy and dialysis treatments. At BASS Medical Group, our nephrologists are board certified in both internal medicine and nephrology and are qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of kidney diseases.
Your kidneys are located on either side of your spine, below the ribcage, and are about the size of a fist. They, along with the ureters, bladder, and urethra form the urinary tract. While they are mostly known for making urine, your kidneys play an essential role in the function of your entire body. They are constantly at work filtering your blood and regulating the levels of fluids, electrolytes, and hormones present. Any waste that is created in this filtration process leaves the body in the form of urine. This job is crucial to other systems and organs in the body, for example, having the correct amount of potassium in your blood is essential for your heart to function properly. Your kidneys also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and promote red blood cell production.
Problems with your kidneys can be caused by disease or damage in the organs themselves, or because of a larger systematic disorder in your body. Regardless of the cause, kidney problems should be taken seriously as their health is vital to the overall health of your body. Oftentimes, the symptoms of kidney disease are mild and can be common to many conditions, meaning they can easily go unnoticed. Signs that your kidneys are not working properly include lethargy, swelling (caused by fluid retention), change in urine, nausea, vomiting, anemia, or dry skin.
Your general practitioner or another specialist will likely refer you to a nephrologist if they feel your kidney functioning is compromised. Additionally, a nephrologist will most likely be a part of your treatment team if you have a serious or chronic disease that affects the kidneys. If you feel as if your kidneys are not working properly, we recommend talking to your doctor or making an appointment with a BASS Medical Group nephrologist so they can make an assessment.
Kidney Disease and Conditions
Each of our nephrologists has extensive training in diagnosing and treating many conditions including:
- Acute kidney injury
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or autoimmune vasculitis
- Cancers of the kidney or bladder
- Chronic kidney disease
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Dialysis management
- Electrolyte disturbances
- End-stage renal disease
- Glomerular diseases
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Recurrent kidney stones
Diagnosing Kidney Disease
As part of the diagnosis and treatment process, they might order a variety of lab tests to further examine your blood and urine. Additionally, your nephrologist might perform one or more of the following procedures:
- Kidney biopsy
- Permcath removal
- Renal ultrasounds
- Vas catheter placement
At BASS Medical Group, our nephrologists understand that patience, compassion, and open communication are key when managing severe or chronic kidney diseases. They are dedicated to working with you to create a customized treatment plan that takes your individual needs and lifestyle into consideration. To receive quality, professional care, please schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified nephrologist.