When Should You See a Nephrologist?
Are you not sure what nephrology is all about? It is a specialty in internal medicine focusing on treating diseases affecting the kidney. You must realize that your kidneys are essential, and they perform various crucial functions in the body. Stay in tune with your body and ensure its functioning optimally. Getting rid of waste and excess fluid from the blood maintains the body’s electrolyte balance and releasing hormones responsible for functions such as managing blood pressure. It will help if you recognize various symptoms that could mean you should schedule an appointment with your nephrologist. As such, you need a highly qualified nephrologist such as Jonathan Pankow, M.D., to look at the state of your kidneys when you feel something could be wrong. Here are some pointers that often indicate you should see your doctor as soon as possible:
Chronic UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)
If you realize you get many UTIs, you are at significant risk of the infection traveling up to the kidneys. It puts you at more risk of developing kidney disease, kidney failure, or sometimes permanent kidney damage. Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, the best cause of action is always to contact a nephrologist and check out the cause of the chronic infections.
Significant changes in your urination habit
One of the most underlooked signs or reasons for seeing a nephrologist is changes in urination pattern, yet it could indicate a bigger problem. When it happens, it could mean there is something wrong with your kidneys that require immediate medical attention. Some of the unusual changes in urination include urinating less frequently or not at all and sometimes frothy or darker appearing urine. Whenever you spot such notable changes, you should contact your nephrologist right away.
Family history of kidney disease
If anyone in your family has kidney disease, it would be wise to check in with a nephrologist. A qualified professional has the expertise to prevent and treat the early stages of kidney disease. As long as it is not severe, it is treatable. Remember, if you have an underlying predisposition, it could potentially put you at risk, which is why early testing is vital for your health. When you visit your nephrologist, they will administer tests early enough, which could help detect if your kidney exhibits a decrease in functionality.
Signs of swelling or edema
Forget about the bloating that you may experience after taking a salty meal. Where your kidneys are involved, the swelling can happen anywhere. However, people tend to notice it more in the legs, lower back, face, and eyelids. Any swelling that does not seem to be caused by the usual circumstances should be checked out by a nephrologist to identify if it is a point of concern.
If you are not sure when you should visit nephrologists, the above are some signs showing when you need to. Ultimately, it will depend on your kidney function, and renal condition you might have, and other risk factors. Do not wait until it is too late since most problems are always treatable as long as they are discovered early enough.