The branch of medicine that deals with the abnormalities of the kidney and the cure is known as Neprology. Nephrologists help diagnose the reasons for kidney failure and thereby suggest the relevant treatment such as medication, change in diet or dialysis. If none of these works, a kidney transplant may be necessary that is done by the transplant surgeon.
The kidney gets vulnerable to both chronic and systemic diseases over the years or to acute injuries, infections as well as kidney stones. Due to this, renal medicine will become more useful in the coming years due to increased incidence of conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. In case the patient experiences any symptoms of kidney disease such as the occurrence of blood or protein in urine, disturbed electrolyte or acid/base balance, chronic kidney disease, presence of stones in kidney, or acute kidney failure, a nephrologist may be consulted or a biopsy of the kidney may be performed. Nephrologists continue to treat the patient for a significant period seeing them through end-state renal failure while managing their kidney problems for them. Simultaneously they coordinate with surgeons, primary care physicians or other health professionals involved in the process in case the patient has been advised dialysis or kidney transplant.
Nephrology differs from Urology as the former deals with disorders of kidney whereas the latter deals with those of the urinary tract. Sometimes the people from both branches need to come together in case the patient is suffering from a condition that requires urology giving surgical cure as well.
Kidneys deal with the removal of waste from the body and kidney problems. Therefore, they need immediate attention as the problem is likely to spread from minor swelling to affecting the organs or even the immune system. A dialysis may be needed if the body does not spontaneously free the body of wastes. Kidney diseases are primarily of two types – one being, acute kidney injury or acute renal failure and the second one – chronic kidney disease. Acute kidney injury or acute renal failure occurs due to reduced blood flow, urine blocked up in kidneys or traumatic impact on the kidneys. These events in turn may occur due to any trauma resulting in loss of blood, blocked flow of the urine, high amount of dehydration, reaction with any kind of drugs or toxins, complications occurring due to pregnancy, exposure to shock due to infection or breakdown of muscle tissue releasing destructive protein in the blood.
Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD on the other hand, occurs when kidneys do not function consistently for more than three months and may remain mostly asymptomatic in the beginning. CKD occurs due to BP or hypertension and can lead to permanent dysfunction of the kidney. Other causes of CKD can be infection of the urinary tract or of the immune system such as HIV, AIDS, lupus, viral disorders, hepatitis etc, birth defects occurring due to affected urinary tract within the womb, polycystic kidney disease, interstitial nephritis, vesicoureteral reflux, usage of harmful drugs or toxins, consistent kidney infections etc.
Symptoms of CKD include sleeping issues and fatigue, vomiting, lack of hunger, swollen ankles, feet and legs, persistent itching, pain in chest, breathlessness, hypertension, excess or less urination, mental confusion, pregnancy problems, heart disorders, damage of nervous system, bone weaknesses, pericarditis, anemia etc. Both types of kidney diseases have treatment as per their severity as well as individual factors. However, in worst scenarios kidney transplant may be necessary. Timely action can help curb the damage and implications of the disease.