Our kidneys are small bean-shaped organs that make urine. They take blood from the body through blood vessels, absorb nutrients and minerals from the blood and remove the excess water, waste products, toxins, and electrolytes,in the form of urine.
Unfortunately, many things can impair the functioning of your kidneys. A kidney specialist is a medical doctor who receives advanced training and education to diagnose and treat kidney and related disorders and to promote kidney health.
If you are wondering when you should see a kidney specialist, here are some signs that indicate your need to see a kidney specialist in Abington, MA.
See Your Kidney Specialist If You Have Been Diagnosed With:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in three adults with diabetes may have chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is when you have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level.
A high blood sugar level from diabetes can damage the blood vessel of your kidneys and functional units of kidneys (nephrons), causing kidneys to lose their ability to filter the blood properly. Furthermore, high blood sugar levels can also result in high blood pressure, further damaging your kidneys.
If you have received a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s best to see a kidney specialist and get your kidneys checked regularly. A kidney specialist can do several simple blood and urine tests to identify early signs of chronic kidney disease. They may also provide tips to keep your kidneys healthy and reduce your risks of developing kidney diseases.
High Blood Pressure
Following diabetes, high blood pressure is another leading cause of kidney failure. In the United States alone, almost one in two adults have high blood pressure, and approximately one in five adults with high blood pressure may have chronic kidney disease.
High blood pressure is when there is an increase in the amount of force that your blood places on the blood vessels. High blood pressure can constrict arteries, which may result in reduced blood flow to the kidney.
When this happens, the kidneys cannot remove all the extra fluid and waste from your body. The buildup of excess fluid in the body can further elevate blood pressure, creating a dangerous cycle that has the potential to result in kidney failure.
A kidney specialist can help you manage your blood pressure and provide you with information and guidance on how to improve the health of your kidneys.
If you’re dealing with severe pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills and your primary care doctor diagnoses kidney stones, it’s best to see a kidney specialist.
A kidney specialist can determine the type of kidney stones, pinpoint the cause of your kidney stone, and treat them with medications, lithotripsy, and other minimally invasive and surgical treatments. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as drinking enough fluid throughout the day and reducing oxalate and calcium-rich foods.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common types of infections in the urinary system, affecting approximately 8 to 10 million people each year. Typically, urinary tract infection improves with medications like antibiotics and lifestyle changes. However, if you have recurrent or frequent urinary tract infections, it may be a sign of an underlying kidney disease.
A kidney specialist can run a comprehensive range of diagnostic tests to make sure that your kidneys are functioning properly and help determine the cause of your urinary tract infection to protect your renal health.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is progressive kidney damage that, if not treated timely, can lead to renal failure. Chronic kidney disease is classified into five stages based on how well your kidneys filter waste from your blood. These stages range from very mild damage to kidneys to kidney failure.
If you have received a chronic kidney disease diagnosis, no matter what stage it is, it’s time to see a kidney specialist. A kidney specialist can prevent further kidney damage to reduce the risk of kidney failure.
As a type of kidney disease, glomerulonephritis involves damage to the tiny filters called glomeruli of the functional unit (nephrons) of your kidney. Glomerulonephritis can start suddenly (acute), may happen slowly, and last a while (chronic).
People with glomerulonephritis should see a kidney specialist as soon as possible. A kidney specialist can prevent glomerulonephritis from progressing into kidney failure. They can recommend a regular renal checkup along with medications and lifestyle modifications.
Renal failure is when your kidneys can no longer function, removing nitrogenous waste products and excess fluid from the blood. People with renal failure have only two survival treatment options: dialysis or a kidney transplant.
A kidney specialist has years of training and education that allow them to perform kidney transplant procedures with successful outcomes safely. They can also recommend dialysis until the patient finds a matching kidney for a kidney transplant.
See Your Kidney Specialist If You Have the Following Signs
Changes in Urination
Changes in urination are a primary sign of kidney issues or kidney-related issues. Changes in urination can be related to the frequency of urination, urine output, flow of urine, and the appearance of urine.
Changes in urination, like frequent urination, especially at night, can be a sign of kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney infections. While the decreased amount of urine can also indicate kidney injury or chronic kidney disease, blood in the urine or foamy urine can also refer to kidney damage or kidney-related issues.
If you experience persistent or concerning changes in the urine, it is best to consult our kidney specialist, who can conduct a thorough evaluation and appropriately treat your symptoms.
Pain in the Side and Back
Kidney pain is often mistaken for back pain, typically felt in your sides, back, or groin region. Compared to back pain, kidney pain is typically located a little higher on your back and often feels deeper. It may also radiate to your abdomen or groin.
Kidney pain and any issue in your urinary system can be a sign of kidney disease, such as kidney stones, kidney infection, urinary retention, ureteral stricture, polycystic kidney disease, renal cancer, or anger or trauma to kidneys.
It is best to see a kidney specialist if you have persistent pain in your kidney area, fever and chills, nausea, vomiting, and painful urination.
Your kidney specialist can perform a comprehensive evaluation to reach the cause of your kidney pain and develop a personalized treatment plan depending on the condition causing your pain.
Edema or Swelling
Our kidney excretes sodium from our body to maintain our blood pressure. Decreased kidney function leads to retention of sodium, which can cause swelling in your extremities, such as feet, legs, and ankles.
It is pertinent to mention that swelling or edema in the lower extremities can also be a sign of liver disease, chronic leg problems, and heart disease. So, if you have swelling or edema in your lower extremities and have a higher risk of developing kidney disease due to your family history or lifestyle, it is best to see a nephrologist.
A nephrologist or kidney specialist can perform the comprehensive assessment, which may involve a physical exam, diagnostic tests, and medical history evaluation, to reach the cause of your edema. If your kidney specialist deems that swelling is due to a kidney problem, they can recommend the necessary interventions to treat it and optimize your kidney health.
Extreme tiredness and lack of energy can be due to numerous reasons. Kidney disease is one of those reasons. A severe loss of kidney function can lead to the buildup of waste products and toxins in the blood, causing you to feel weak and tired. The buildup of the toxin in the body can also make it hard to concentrate.
If you experience extreme tiredness, brain fog, and urinary symptoms, see a kidney specialist for comprehensive evaluation and treatment.
Kidney Specialist in Abington, MA
If you are at risk for kidney disease and want to optimize your kidney health or are experiencing symptoms of kidney disease or related disorders, choose our board-certified kidney specialists at Associates in Nephrology for a comprehensive evaluation and highly personalized treatment. Our kidney specialists have built an excellent reputation in providing treatment for a full spectrum of kidney and related disorders, such as chronic kidney disease, hypertension, kidney stones, electrolyte imbalance, glomerulonephritis, end-stage kidney disease, and renal failure. At our kidney center, we also offer kidney transplant treatment and dialysis services.