Nephrology is a medical specialty that deals with functions and diseases of the kidneys.
What do kidneys do?
Kidneys serve many vital functions, but their main job is to clean the blood. They filter wastes and excess fluids from the body. These wastes and fluids leave the body in the urine.
The body needs minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus) to work, and too little or too much can make you sick. In the kidneys, minerals are taken from or added to the blood to keep them in the right balance. In this way, the kidneys maintain the chemical balance the body needs to stay healthy.
The kidneys also help the body make red blood cells, control our blood pressure and keep bones strong.
One healthy kidney is usually enough to do all these jobs. If both kidneys fail, their work must then be done by dialysis.
Nephrologists help their patients understand how their kidneys work and what they can do to keep them healthy. They treat these conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Loss of protein through the urine (proteinuria)
- High blood pressure
- Kidney stones
- Electrolyte- and acid-based disorders
- Sudden loss of kidney function
Treatment for kidney problems
Many kidney problems can be treated with medicine and lifestyle changes. However, end-stage kidney disease might require dialysis to filter the blood. Comprehensive dialysis services are available at the Mercyhealth Dialysis Center in Janesville.