Who is a Nephrologist
A nephrologist is a medical Doctor Who specializes in caring and treating the diseases of the kidneys. A Nephrologist is often called a kidney doctor.
- A nephrologist studies and deals with the department of nephrology to help maintain the vital functioning and electrolyte balance in the body.
- Nephrologists can easily manage to overcome the low functioning of the kidneys and even reverse the kidney damage.
- A nephrologist also helps in managing the impact of kidney dysfunction on the rest of the body.
- The word Nephrologist is actually derived from Greek literature where nephros means kidney or renal and ologist means someone who studies.
- The word nephrology was first used in the year 1960 proposed by Pr Jean hamburger. before this speciality was referred to as kidney medicine.
- Kidney issues arising on a serious level around the world with millions of people undergoing kidney injuries and so it demands an increasing number of nephrologists to deal with its ill effects
According to the reports published kidney disease ranks as the 12th leading cause of death globally and among the 9th in the United states. The United States has marked that 15% of the idols are believed to suffer from chronic kidney disease.
A nephrologist or a kidney specialist diagnoses , treats and manages the kidney disease and its related problems . The nephrologists treat a wide array of kidney related disorders. The conditions may include as
- Chronic kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- End stage renal disease
- Kidney cancer
- Kidney infections
- Related nephrotic syndrome
- Renal artery stenosis renal insufficiency
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Haemolytic uraemic syndrome
- Diabetic kidney disorder
- electrolyte disorders
- electrolyte disorders lupus nephritis
- nephrotic syndrome
Along with these major diseases associated with kidneys, nephrologists are well trained to manage related diseases as well, for example, your nephrologists can help you to manage the symptoms like high blood pressure, related cholesterol problems, infections acute and chronic pain ,excess protein accumulation, swollen ankles and feet due to toxicity ,remove toxic materials through dialysis and many more that are related to our kidneys.
Nephrologists are basically the kidney doctors who deal with a wide area of diseases and their symptoms related to kidneys.
- You need to see a nephrologist if you have conditions such as acute kidney disease, chronic kidney disease, kidney infections or kidney failure.
- The nephrologists treat the complex or advanced kidney conditions and if visited early can easily help in managing the early stages of kidney disease.
- Nephrologists perform certain tests and monitor the condition of renal functioning. They can find kidney problems if you have certain symptoms such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or a family history of kidney problems.
- The test conducted helps to detect signs such as decreasing GFR value, increasing albumin in urine etc.
You are also referred to nephrologist if you are having any of the following complications
- chronic kidney problems
- If you notice some blood in the urine.
- Recurring kidney stones, for such a case you also need to see a urologist.
- High blood pressure even after taking medications and it is still high, you nephrologists can help manage it.
- Rare cause of kidney disease.
If you are in the search of a nephrologist ,then
- Your primary health care doctor will recommend or refer to your nephrologist if needed.
- There are many insurance companies from where you can have the reference of top nephrologists of that respective place.
- You can also take the help of online data and search on the online platforms.
- The field work of a nephrologist and a urologist shares some overlapping features because both of them are related to the renal functioning or the kidneys.
- A Nephrologist focuses on the diseases on the conditions which affect the kidney directly whereas a urologist focuses on conditions which are related to the male and female urinary tract.
- A nephrologist specialises in internal medicine and manages diseases related to kidney functions and its associated conditions such as hypertension or high blood pressure.
- A nephrologists offers the variety of services such as monitors blood pressure, monitors fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, perform dialysis treatment, ( dialysis is actually a treatment for kidney disease which acts as a substitute for kidney and releases how to toxic materials from the body in place of our kidneys) .
- Urologists focus on treating the anatomical problems related to the urinary tract and related organs. Urologist treats conditions related to following parts:-
- Ureters kidneys
- Adrenal glands
- Seminal vesicle
- Vas deferens
- Epididymis and other associated organs.
- Urologists have surgical specialties whereas nephrologists have not. The common diseases or conditions that a urologist refers to include
- Urinary bladder problems
- Urinary tract infections
- Ureter conditions
- Anatomical kidney problems
- Renal stones
- Conditions specially the male reproductive organs.
Nephrologists are not surgeons and are not known to perform surgeries in kidney complications. A nephrologist deals with nephrology where he manages the paediatric study of the kidneys and its related contradictory facts.
- Nephrologists conduct certain testing procedures to diagnose kidney complications such as dialysis , placement of dialysis catheter, imaging tests of the kidney that includes CT scans, x-ray, ultrasound, kidney biopsy etc.
Nephrology related complications such as acute kidney failure, advanced kidney damages and other conditions shows some of the following symptoms
- Shortness in breathing
- Feeling tired or fatigue, dizziness
- Dizziness difficult sleeping or insomnia, sleep disturbances
- Itchy skin
- Certain muscle cramps
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- swollen ankles, feet or hands due to water retention which is often called oedema.
- Blood in urine
- Increased urinary regulation particularly during night.
- Feeling sick
- high blood pressure
- erectile dysfunction in men
- protein in the urine
- trouble in concentration.
The 3 early warning signs that show you might be having a kidney diseases are
Dizziness or fatigue
This is one of the first possible signs of weakening kidneys that you may suffer.. you will start experiencing overall weakness in your body and your overall health looks like declining along with some weight loss. But don’t panic, these symptoms can also build to some stress overwork or typical day to day issues. Consult physicians first clear out major doubts related to these or in severe cases referred to a kidney specialist doctors in nephrologists.
Swelling of the body parts
There are many reasons that can cause swelling in the body parts specially the ankles,, foot ,wrist or sometimes around eyes, these can be a sign that toxic materials are not released out and your kidneys are not functioning well. These may be also due to poor electrolyte balance or other nutritional abnormalities that affect filtration capacities of your kidney. Sometimes swelling can also be due to poor blood circulation in the body.
Certain changes in urination
An important sign of beginning kidney disease are the changes noticeable in the urine or urination frequency for example, changes in urine amount, foaming urine, dark coloured urine, blood in urine, these can be a serious warning that your kidneys are not functioning well or not filtering out toxic materials from the body. dehydration can also cause some urine changes till few days but if the mentioned condition remains for longer time then this is a warning sign for you :-
- progressively, the kidney disease extends to the 5 stages where the end stage proves to be fatal or kidney transplantation remains as the only option.
- Consult your nephrologists if you notice these changes in your body. Along with the medications, Follow a proper diet and always remember to drink plenty of water to aid in the filtration process
- It is always best to detect the disease in early stages and let the treatment be done instead of waiting for the last days to reach where without dialysis a person cannot survive.
The cost to see a Nephrologist varies from place to place, and also on the stages of illness. They are basically 4 kinds of cost involved , the first is the consultation fee,, and the other includes diagnostic cost, treatment cost, and the post treatment medical care cost that can be for short term or long term depending upon the stage of disease
- Nephrologist consultation fee the consultation fee may range from for
general physician :- 300-800 Rs
nephrologist :- Rs 500-1200 .
- Diagnostic test – Diagnostic test for kidney issues generally involves 2 types of testing, one is blood testing and the other is imaging of the kidneys.
- the blood testing includes checking of various chemical levels to find out aberrations
- The cost include
- kidney function test:- Rs 400-500
- complete blood count blood test :- Rs250- 500
- urine test:- Rs 300- 600
Radiologist tests are conducted for further investigation and scan out specific problems such as ultrasound CT scan MRI etc.
- Ultrasound :- Rs 500-2500
- CT scan :- Rs 2,000-5,000
- MRI :- Rs 5,000-10,000
There are different kidney related treatments for which the costs also vary. The treatments along with their cost are :-
- for acute kidney injury usually requires a hospital stay and in serious cases requires styluses or ICU admission. The cost in such cases depends upon the duration of hospitalization and the cost of special medications that are regulated.
- for chronic kidney injury for stage 1-4 requires regular check-ups and follow up visits and blood tests in every fixed time. Depending on the course, long term therapy may be required that may cost from ₹10,000 to 20,000 a month.
- For CKD stage 5,, that is the end stage renal disease ,the kidneys are at critical position and need external assistance to function. The patient needs dialysis or a complete kidney transplant, dialysis usually costs ₹2000 to 3000 per session , conducted 2 to 3 times a week, haemoglobin injections cost ₹1400 per injection and other medications for at least 5000 a month are followed.
- In severe cases, when a transplantation is required the pre transplantation cost is about ₹1 to 1.5 lakhs and during transplantation, the induction therapy costs ₹1 to 1.5 lakh to ensure whether the kidney is accepted or rejected.
The actual transplantation cost to around ₹5,00,000 on the post transplant medications which are subsequently required costs ₹2 30,000 to 35,000 per month for the initial one year and gradually for the next years the cost reduces to ₹10,000 to 15,000 a month.
- Kidney stones removal requires a non-invasive surgery or an open surgery on the basis of the size of stones that eventually cost ₹1 to 2,00,000 and post surgical treatment of medication demands ₹6000 to 7000 a year.
- The tumour, prostate, and congenital problems usually requires one time surgery to surgically remove the tumour that cost around 1.1 2.5 lakhs with a post follow up for a year around 2000 to 6000 a year.
Nephrologists deal with diseases of kidneys which involve some major diagnostic tests to check the kidney abnormalities. Some of the known tests included by the nephrologist includes:-
- Physical examination
- Oedema or swelling can be checked through physical examination.
- Blood test blood test is one of the most important tests conducted to check the altered levels of urea, creatinine And electrolytes., it also helps to find out the damage in other parts that may affect kidneys for example, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, AIDS etc.
- Urine test urine test analysis reveals the levels of protein, blood or excess urea in the urine that shows kidney damage, kidney or urinary tract infections can also be detected through this test.
- Ultrasound scanning is one of the most non-invasive imaging studies for kidney disease. It uses high frequency sound waves for creating the images of abdominal organs.
- Other imaging studies that detect structural or anatomical abnormalities of the kidney include computed tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. These tests also help to detect renal tumours and cancer as well.
- MR angiography
These tests are conducted to detect the defects in blood vessels within the kidneys.
- Renal biopsy- renal biopsy are done to check if a lesion is present in the kidneys. In such cases a small portion of renal tissues are taken out under the guidance of ultrasound imaging studies and then those issues are examined further under microscope for abnormal pathologies.
- Intravenous urography- it is a test turn to detect the flow of blood as well as the formation of urine in the kidney and its outflow.
This test involves radioactive isotopes that help in detecting the abnormal functions of the kidney.
- Renal arteriography
This is another test performed to check the abnormalities in which a thin catheter is inserted into the femoral artery. A dye is injected into the aorta usually above the renal arteries and under the right guidance the images of the blood vessels within the kidneys are obtained, and so the abnormalities are detected.
Dr Rajesh Goel (Nephrologist)
MBBS, DNB(Medicine) DNB (Nephrology)
Fellow (Kidney Transplant)
Kidney Disease Treatments & More Offered By Kidney Care Centre
At Kidney Care Centre, we offer quality services for the management of all types of acute to chronic kidney disorders. Our key services include
Dialysis is a procedure performed in patients whose kidneys have failed to work effectively and sufficiently. In this procedure, the blood is purified and all waste products and excess fluid are eliminated from the body.
Kidney stones are one of the most common kidney disorders. In this disorder, certain hard stone-like structures are formed in the urinary tract due to the deposition of minerals and salts over time. They can cause a variety of problems ranging from pain to urinary obstruction. They can be managed both medically and surgically depending upon the size, number and location of the stones.
It is a type of invasive diagnostic procedure in which a part of the kidney is taken out and then examined under a microscope for cellular changes. It is helpful in the diagnosis of many ckidney diseases, including cancer. Biopsy is a very essential tool that ensures proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Rajesh Goel, Best Nephrologist in India, Provides Online Nephrologist Consultation for Free
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the world can go into lockdown at any time. Hence, we have learned from it and started online consultation services for our patients. We provide consultation and counselling for all types of kidney disorders online at a nominal cost. That means you can avail the advice of our healthcare experts in the comfort of your home. For more complex procedures, you might need to visit the clinic physically, but apart from that, we have made all the basic services available in the online mode as well for the convenience of our patients. We, at Kidney Care Centre, believe in serving our patients with the best and making innovations in order to serve them better with every passing day.