What is a Nephrologist | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog




The kidneys are small organs with a big mission: to filter waste and extra water from blood. They also produce several hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells and activate vitamin D. All of these functions are vital to good health.

That's why if you're diagnosed with kidney disease, you may need to see a nephrologist—a doctor who specializes in treating kidney problems.

These kidney experts start their training with four years of medical school and at least three years of postgraduate training. After becoming certified in internal medicine, nephrologists study a broad range of kidney disorders for two or more additional years.

Nephrologists not only treat kidney disease, but also conditions associated with it. That includes diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which can lead to chronic kidney disease.

When to see one

Your primary care physician might refer you to a nephrologist if you have signs of a kidney problem, such as:

• Protein or blood in your urine.

• Severe high blood pressure.

• Loss of kidney function.

Your nephrologist may recommend medicines or changes in your diet to treat kidney disease. Treatment is important, because without it kidney disease often gets worse. In severe cases—known as kidney failure—dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed.

Whatever type of kidney disease you have, your nephrologist will partner with your primary care physician to monitor your treatments and help you do well.

Sources: American College of Physicians; National Institutes of Health

Blurb: Go to www.OURSITE.xyz to read about the nephrologists at Anytown General Hospital.