to diagnose and treat diseases and complications of the kidneys. This may include kidney stones, kidney disease, renal failure, chronic urinary tract infections and other disorders related to the kidneys.
Nephrology is a specialized field of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of disorders of the kidneys. Nephrologists, the physicians who practice nephrology, are trained in internal medicine but have specialized training in the treatment of the kidneys and related diseases.
When diagnosing diseases and disorders of the kidneys, nephrologists employ a wide range of procedures and diagnostic tests. These may include renal biopsies, urinalysis, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, kidney stone analysis, hypertension studies, hemofiltration, blood tests and tissue samples, among others.
Patients may be referred to nephrologists by their primary physician or other specialists, or may seek out care on their own to care for a number of different conditions related to the kidneys. Diseases or conditions affecting the kidneys may include renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer), pyelonephritis (infection of one or both kidneys), glomerulonephritis (inflammatory disease of the kidneys), kidney stone disease, complications as a result of drug use or poisons, obstructive nephropathy, hypertension (high blood pressure), glomerulonephritis (autoimmune disease), renal failure and a host of other conditions and diseases.