Nephrology & Urology - Introduction


Nephrology is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. It is concerned with the kidney physiology, kidney disease, treatment of kidney problems, renal replacement therapy which includes dialysis and kidney transplantation. Systemic conditions like diabetes that affects the kidneys and systemic problems that occur as a result of kidney problems are also studied in nephrology.


Kidneys are a pair of small, bean-shaped organs that lie on either side of the spine, behind the abdominal organs, just deep to the last two ribs. Healthy kidneys clean your blood and filter toxins and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. They also help control blood pressure and balance the number of some aspects of our body, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. The kidneys also produce hormones that contribute to red blood cells production.

Various conditions that affect the function of the kidneys are:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation of kidney
  • Chronic kidney diseases
  • The side effect of medication
  • Urinary tract infection

The treatment depends on the cause of kidney problem and its severity. Many diseases affecting the kidney are systemic disorders and may require special treatment. Your health care provider might want you to have a urine test to check for signs of an infection.


A nephrologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and management of conditions that affect the kidney. Nephrologists also supervise care for patients with end-stage renal failure, who require dialysis to survive. The Kidneys are vital for maintaining normal fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Nephrologists manage electrolyte disorders such as low or high sodium, potassium and calcium.

Nephrologists mainly focus on disorders that affect the way the kidney works. Most of the time, people confuse nephrologists with urologists. The confusion arises because both urologists and nephrologists treat kidney problems. Nephrologists focus on how the kidneys work and evaluate the function of the kidneys. Urologists are more concerned with anatomical kidney problems and deal with the rest of the urinary tract. Nephrologists prescribe nonsurgical medical treatments for the disorders, whereas urologists treat issues such as kidney stones, kidney blockages and kidney cancer.

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