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Nephrologists: Doctors for Kidney Diseases

Last updated on 19 August 2020

Who is a nephrologist?

A nephrologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating kidney related diseases. Typically, when a General Physician suspects that you may have a kidney related disease and require specialized care, they will refer you to a nephrologist, who would be able to provide you with the care you need.

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What does a nephrologist do?

Nephrologists are kidney specialist doctors who deal with all health aspects related to the kidney. They are specialized in treating symptoms associated with kidney diseases like pain or burning sensation while passing urine, increased urination, swelling in face/arms/legs, breathlessness, excessive tiredness, frequent low grade or high grade fevers, pain in abdomen or in loin, changes in color of urine, foul smelling urine, foamy urine and more. Few of the kidney related diseases can be as follows:

  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Acute Kidney injury
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Hypertensive Nephropathy
  • IgA Nephropathy
  • Polycystic kidney disease 
  • Kidney related cancer etc.,

How often should you see a nephrologist?

It’s time to see a nephrologist if you find yourself having the following symptoms:

  • Dark coloured urine
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Pain in the loin
  • Persistent Swelling / puffiness of the face or under eyes
  • Persistent Swelling of hands and feet
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Breathlessness
  • Insomnia

Normally, it’s a good practice to see a general physician first who will assess your health condition and refer you to a nephrologist if need be.

What degrees do you need to be a nephrologist?

Nephrology is the branch of medicine dealing with the study of functions and diseases of the kidney. After a 5 year MBBS course and 3 year speciality in General medicine (MD/DNB), Nephrologists (DM/DNB) are trained for 3 years full time in treating Kidney related diseases.

How to find a good nephrologist?

To find a good nephrologist, speak to a family member or friend to refer you to a good nephrologist. You could also search online for kidney specialist doctors; Google does a great job of providing services closest to you, i.e., they’d connect you with a nephrologist near you. Usually, there are ratings and reviews online for the quality of services provided to help you decide what’s best for you.

How to choose the right nephrologist?

Choosing the right kidney specialist doctor is one of the most important and personal decisions you would make. Here are seven crucial tips to help you choose the right nephrologist:

  1. Research. There are many nephrologists out there. Decide upon the one you would be comfortable with; someone with a good reputation, communication and soft skills.
  2. Get the proper referrals. Speak with your family member, a General Physician, colleagues, friends to help you connect with the right kidney expert.
  3. Check for licencing and credentials of the nephrologists.
  4. Consider the years of experience of the doctor.
  5. Consider the gender of the doctor depending on if you would want to disclose your health condition to them.
  6. Consider the communication style of the nephrologists. Choose a doctor you would gel along with quickly. Developing a rapport helps in communicating efficiently with the nephrologist. If possible, read patient reviews to help you make the right decisions.
  7. It’s good to know if you would be covered under the insurance plan that you have.

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You can consult top nephrologists near you all from the comfort of your home — Download the MFine app now or visit our website.

  • Ask the doctor about your symptoms, problems, medications, and more during your consultation.
  • You may have to submit your medical history and records if any, so the doctor can better understand your condition.
  • Post teleconsultation, you could also follow up with your doctor online.
  • Additionally, you can also buy medicines online and get lab tests done using the MFine app, all from the comfort of your home.

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What kind of patients do nephrologists see?

Nephrologists diagnose and manage acute and chronic kidney diseases. They also treat conditions that can affect kidney function such as high blood pressure, fluid retention, electrolyte and mineral imbalances.
They are specialized in managing dialysis treatment for kidneys, kidney transplants, and in managing overall kidney health i.e., on how efficiently your kidneys are able to filter out wastes/toxins generated in the body and in monitoring the balance of water, acid-base balance and minerals in the body. In case of diseases like chronic kidney disease(CKD), end stage renal disease(ESRD) / Kidney failure, kidneys will not be able to function properly and lead to accumulation of wastes/toxins in the body causing patients to depend on dialysis to excrete wastes/toxins from the body.

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