Nephrology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases including electrolyte disturbances and hypertension, as well as the care of those patients who require renal replacement therapy, including dialysis and renal transplant patients.
Most disorders affecting the kidney are not limited to the organ itself, but are systemic disorders, and may require special treatment, such as systemic vasculitis or other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
- Patients are referred to Nephrologists for reasons such as:
- Acute renal failure i.e. a sudden loss of renal function.
- Chronic kidney disease which is the declining renal function, usually with an inexorable rise in creatinine.
- Hematuria that is the blood loss in the urine
- Proteinuria i.e. the loss of protein especially albumin in the urine
- Kidney stones
- Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections
- Hypertension that has failed to respond to multiple forms of anti-hypertensive medication or could have a secondary cause
- Electrolyte disorders or acid/base imbalance