The human body is amazing in so many ways. If there is an anomaly with any organ or body part, associated symptoms can help diagnose and treat the anomaly. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins from the body, and any kidney disorder or disease can cause significant pain, discomfort, and uneasiness. In Houston, check for Devaraj Munikrishnappa, M.D., who specializes in diagnosing and treating kidney disease. In this post, we are sharing more on when you should see a kidney doctor.
What are the signs & symptoms of kidney disease?
Kidneys are located close to the spine, and any serious injury to the back or spine can cause kidney damage. If the kidneys are not functioning normally, you may have various types of symptoms. Your urine is an indicator of hydration. If your urine is too yellow or has changed color unusually, check with a doctor immediately. Any issue with kidney function can also increase levels of potassium and sodium in the body. If you have hypertension or high blood pressure, you are at a greater risk of kidney disease. Chronic lifestyle diseases, especially diabetes, can affect kidney function. Some patients may also have other symptoms like difficulty in urination, unexplainable pain in the lower back, or blood in their urine. More often than not, there are no apparent symptoms of kidney disease, which is also why diagnosis is delayed.
“Who should I see for kidney disease?”
Your first step should be about seeing your primary physician. A Doctor of Medicine can do an initial checkup, run some imaging and diagnostic tests, and do blood tests to find the possible cause of your symptoms. If they find it necessary, they may recommend you to a specialist. Two different doctors may treat kidney disease. The first one is a urologist, who treats diseases and conditions related to the urinary system, including kidneys. On the contrary, nephrologists specialize in kidney treatments alone and can help in improving kidney function.
What types of tests are required to diagnose kidney disease?
Your doctor can answer that question. Any change in kidney function and performance can impact blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels in your blood. Doctors can also recommend GFR and urine tests to check for other symptoms. Urine tests can help in understanding if you have a protein leak because of kidney disease. As needed, further imaging tests, including MRI and CT scans, can be ordered to know more about a particular condition or disorder.
What are the risk factors for kidney disease?
As we mentioned, people with diabetes and hypertension are at a greater risk of getting kidney disease. Risk factors include heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, genetics, and long-term use of certain medications, especially NSAIDs.
You can prevent renal failure with early diagnosis and treatment. If you have any signs of kidney damage, you should consider talking to your primary healthcare physician right away. It is also wise to get kidney function tests periodically if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.