When To See A Nephrologist

Many patients may not feel badly in earlier stages and yet have many associated abnormalities found only with blood work. Early detection can identify reversible causes or help augment risk factors that can accelerate kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease is in itself a major risk factor for death and disability comparable to heart attack or diabetes. Serious consideration is appropriate.

Some of the common reasons for referral to a nephrologist include:-

  • Acute renal failure or sudden loss of kidney functions
  • Chronic renal/kidney disease or CKD with long term decline in kidney functions
  • Presence of blood, proteins or casts and crystals in the urine
  • Long term or recurring kidney infections including cystitis (bladder infections) and Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
  • Kidney stones or patients who have recurrence of kidney stone formation
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Acid base imbalance or electrolyte disorders
  • Cancers of the kidneys or urinary bladder
  • Diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease
  • Hypertensive nephrosclerosis or kidney damage due to high blood pressure
  • Atheroembolic kidney disease or kidney damage due to atherosclerosis and resulting thrombosis
  • Renal blood vessel disease
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Acute tubular necrosis
  • Dialysis and its long term complications – dialysis includes hemodialysis as well as peritoneal dialysis
  • Autoimmune diseases including autoimmune vasculitis, lupus, etc.
  • Hydronephrosis or damage to the kidneys due to backward flow of urine possibly due to obstruction in the outflow of urine.
  • Tubulo/interstitial renal diseases
  • Cystic diseases including polycystic kidney disease where fluid filled sacs are formed in the kidney impairing functions
  • Drugs or toxins that have caused kidney damage
  • Clinical disorders of major electrolytes (Potassium K+, Calcium Ca2+, Magnesium Mg2+, Phosphates PO42- )