Which Diseases They Can Treat
Since thy approach the treatment of kidney diseases in their unique ways, the specific diseases that they treat are also different. A nephrologist would specialize in treating diseases that affect the kidneys ability to function. Examples of these would be diabetes or kidney failure. On the other hand, a urologist would treat kidney obstructions, kidney stones and diseases that affect the urinary tract and its related organs. If there would be an overlapping condition, such as a kidney with stones in a patient with diabetes, both doctors work together to treat the patient. In other scenarios, one doctor can refer you to the other if their training and scope do not cover the symptoms you are experiencing.
Urologist vs nephrologist, not so similar now that you think of it, right?
In summary, both doctors specialize in the treatment of kidney disorders but differ in many ways.
The lines that separate Nephrology and Urology may sometimes be blurred. Their specialties of medicine may sometimes overlap, and it is not uncommon for a patient to see both types of doctors for the treatment of one disorder.
You May Have A Kidney Stone If You Experience Any Of The Following:
Most people with kidney stones experience severe pain in their side and their back, below the ribs. The pain may move to the lower abdomen or groin and may come in waves and vary in its intensity. As the kidney stone moves through the urinary tract, the location and amount of pain may change. With kidney stones, it is common to have urinary problems such as pain while urinating, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, discolored urine , frequent urination, a persistent need to urinate, and urinating only small amounts. Some may feel nauseous or vomit, and if an infection has developed, people with kidney stones may experience fever or chills.
Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented Or Avoided
Most people who have kidney stones have a 50% chance of developing another kidney stone within 10 years. But there are things you can do to lower your risk:
- Drink at least 2 liters of fluids per day. Your doctor may have you measure your urine output to be sure youre drinking the right amount of fluids.
- Dont eat more than 1,500 mg of salt per day . This includes salt in pre-packaged food. Check nutrition labels to see how much salt is in your food.
- Try not to eat more than 2 servings of meat per day. Each serving should be no more than 6 to 8 ounces.
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Being Your Own Advocate With Your Kidneys
When it comes to living with kidney disease, recovery usually does not happen once your GFR has chronically declined to the advanced stages. Hence, the emphasis really needs to be on prevention. The next time you see your healthcare provider make sure to discuss the results of your GFR and ask if you should be seen by a specialist.
Urologist Vs Nephrologist: Which One Do You Need
Urologist vs nephrologist. What is the difference between these two specialized doctors? Which one should you go to for a specific disease or illness?
They are similar, yet quite different. Both a urologist and nephrologist are doctors that specialize in kidney disorders. Because they have a similarity in specialization, it can be easy to be confused about the two. However, where does the difference lie?
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How Will I Know If I Have A Kidney Stone
To find out the size and type of kidney stone you have, your doctor may do tests, including:
- Blood tests to show if there is too much calcium or uric acid in your blood
- Urine tests to show the type of wastes that are in your urine. For this test, your doctor may ask you to collect your urine over two days.
- Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan or X-ray, to show kidney stones in your urinary tract
If you get kidney stones often, your doctor may ask you to urinate through a strainer to catch stones that you pass. Your doctor will then find out what they are made of to decide what is causing your kidney stones and how to prevent them.
Reducing Kidney Stone Risk
Drinking enough fluid will help keep your urine less concentrated with waste products. Darker urine is more concentrated, so your urine should appear very light yellow to clear if you are well hydrated. Most of the fluid you drink should be water. Most people should drink more than 12 glasses of water a day. Speak with a healthcare professional about the right amount of water that’s best for you. Water is better than soda, sports drinks or coffee/tea. lf you exercise or if it is hot outside, you should drink more. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup should be limited to small quantities.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which make the urine less acid. When the urine is less acid, then stones may be less able to form. Animal protein produces urine that has more acid, which can then increase your risk for kidney stones.
You can reduce excess salt in your diet. What foods are high in salt? Everyone thinks of salty potato chips and French fries. Those should be rarely eaten. There are other products that are salty: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even sports drinks.
Some herbal substances are promoted as helping prevent stones. You should know that there is insufficient published medical evidence to support the use of any herb or supplement in preventing stones.
- What food may cause a kidney stone?
- Should l take vitamin and mineral supplements?
- What beverages are good choices for me?
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Risk Factors For Kidney Disease
Since kidney disease can become serious before symptoms are present, it’s important to have a high index of suspicion and be aware of conditions which predispose you to kidney disease. People who are at greater risk of developing renal failure include those with:
- Long-standing high blood pressure
- Heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure
- Other vascular diseases such as cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease
- A family history of kidney disease
- Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Celebrex
Kidney Stone Treatment At Home
Most small kidney stones move through the kidney and pass down the ureter to the bladder on their own. You can help these small stones pass by drinking up to three quarts of water a day, if you dont have a medical condition that requires you to limit your fluid intake. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen may help manage the kidney pain.
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How Do Doctors Treat Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on:
- The size of the stone
- The type of stone
- If the stone is causing you pain
- If the stone is blocking your urinary tract
If your kidney stone is small, your doctor may have you take pain medicine and drink fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract and out through your urine .
If your kidney stone is large or if it is blocking your urinary tract, a different treatment may be needed. Treatment options include:
What Kind Of Doctor Do I Need
Some health insurance plans allow you to refer yourself to a doctorthat is, if you know what is wrong, you can go see a medical specialist without having to be referred by your regular doctor. In other plans, you have to be referred to a specialist by your primary care physician . If you are trying to figure out what kind of doctor you need for your health problem or symptoms youre having, then this list will help you out. It tells you what kind of doctor treats what. Then you can find the name of a specialist by calling your local hospital, asking friends or family if they know a good doctor, or asking your primary care doctor to recommend someone.
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Kidney Stones In Adults
If youre experiencing pain from kidney stones, our goal at NYU Langone is not only to eliminate them but also to prevent them from returning. Our team of experts includes urologists and nephrologists who specialize in urinary tract and kidney problems. They offer dietary counseling, medical therapies, or surgical options, depending on your symptoms and the type of kidney stones you have.
NYU Langone urologists perform hundreds of kidney stone procedures each year, making our surgical team one of the most experienced in the New York City area. Our doctors specialize in treating people who have complex kidney stone conditions and larger kidney stones.
Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone
There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.
Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the body’s master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
What Are The Types Of Kidney Stones
There are four types of kidney stones:
Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones. They form when calcium mixes with oxalate in your urine. These form when you are not getting enough fluids or calcium.
Uric stones are also a common type of kidney stone. High levels of a natural chemical called purine in your body can cause a high level of a chemical called urate that can create these kidney stones. This type of kidney stone tends to run in families.
Struvite stones are less common than calcium and uric stones. Struvite stones can happen when bacteria from upper urinary tract infections get into your urinary tract.
Cystine stones are caused by a rare condition called cystinuria that is passed down in families. Cystinuria causes a natural chemical called cystine to leak into your urine. When there is too much cystine in your urine, kidney stones can form. These stones can get stuck in your kidneys, bladder or anywhere in your urinary tract. Most people with cystinuria will get many stones in their life. It is a lifelong condition that can be treated but not cured.
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Conditions Treated By Kidney Doctors
Kidney doctors care for people with a number of different types of kidney disease including:
- Acute kidney injury: Acute kidney disease refers to the rapid onset of kidney disease often related to conditions such as shock , dehydration, kidney problems related to surgery, or inadequate drainage from the urinary tract .
- Chronic renal failure: Chronic kidney disease can be caused by a number of different conditions
There is a wide range of medical problems that can affect the kidneys in different ways. Some of the more common conditions which can cause kidney failure include:
- Diabetes : Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the United States
- Kidney disease related to high blood pressure and heart disease
- Kidney stones which cause obstruction
- Congenital kidney problems such as horseshoe kidney
- Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys which can be caused by a number of different processes, including the bacteria which causes strep throat.
- Kidney disease related to lupus
- Polycystic kidney disease: Cystic kidney disease is hereditary, though the severity of the disease, as well as age of onset, can vary
- Autoimmune diseases such as IgA nephropathy
- Kidney failure secondary to liver disease
Chronic kidney disease is described by five stages based on the severity of the disease. Grade 1 kidney failure refers to a mild disease, whereas grade 5 renal failure usually indicates that dialysis or a kidney transplant will be needed.
Know When To Seek Help For Kidney Stones
You may not know that a kidney stone is present until it begins to pass through the urinary tract. When this happens, you may experience any of the following:
- Pain during urination.
- Red, pinkish, or brown colored urine .
- Urine that is foul-smelling or appears cloudy.
- Pain that feels like its hitting you in waves of varying intensity.
- Pain in your back and/or side.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Fever, sometimes accompanied by chills.
Although these symptoms, in themselves, may not require immediate medical attention, it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
In some cases, emergency care is an essential part of the healing process and for your safety. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain, vomiting, fever and/or chills.
- Visible blood in the urine.
- Difficulty urinating.
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Kidney Stone Testing And Treatment
Another way a urologist can help with kidney stones is through testing and treatment. If your symptoms suggest you may have kidney stones, your doctor will examine you and call for diagnostic testing. Some of the primary tests used at Alliance Urology include urine testing, blood testing, stone analysis, or other imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, or intravenous urography. Treatment will then depend on the size of the kidney stone. Drinking significant amounts of water can flush out the urinary system and pass any small stones, or your doctor may prescribe an alpha-blocker to help the stone pass. As we previously mentioned, a urologist can provide the best treatment for larger kidney stones. Procedures for more severe kidney stone cases include breaking up the stone with sound wave technology or surgical removal of the stones. No matter how severe the case is, the providers at Alliance Urology are here to help.
Know The Proper Steps To Take For The Quickest Relief From Urinary Tract Infection
The lower urinary tract can provide access for infectious bacteria to enter the body, sometimes resulting in urinary tract infections. A urinary tract infection may cause one or more symptoms, such as a persistent sense of need to urinate, a burning sensation during urination, frequently passing only small amounts of urine, or urine that appears cloudy, bright red, pink, or brownish.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor to find out which of the following methods of diagnosis and urinary tract infection treatment is appropriate for your needs.
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When To See A Urologist For Kidney Stone Treatment
Ask anyone who has ever passed a kidney stone if they would like to do it again. Chances are, your answer will be an immediate no!
It can be one of the most painful things, maybe next to childbirth, we can endure. They will tell you to run to a urologist if you have certain symptoms, and they will tell you once you have a kidney stone, you are likely to have more. Then they will explain the importance of and when to see a urologist for kidney stone treatment.
Passing A Kidney Stone
Small kidney stones may pass on their own without treatment. A doctor may recommend drinking more fluids to help flush the stone out of the system.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe the medication Tamsulosin. This drug relaxes the ureter, making it easier for stones to pass. Some people may also require over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medication.
According to the AUA, a person should wait no longer than 6 weeks to pass a small kidney stone. They should seek medical attention sooner if they experience worsening pain or an infection.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to place a ureteral stent to allow urine to bypass the stone, with or without removing the stone at the same time. According to the Urology Care Foundation, doctors usually reserve surgery for stones that may have caused or lead to infection or stones that do not pass and block urine flow from the kidney.
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