Ask a Nephrologist about Chronic Kidney Disease, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Diabetic Nephropathy, Kidney Failure, Electrolyte Imbalance, Nephrotic Syndrome, and Lupus Nephritis. Get your answer in 3 easy steps

200 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Sree Bhushan
Dr. Sree Bhushan


Exp 22 years

HCM Blog Instant Access
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
What Is A Nephrologist?

A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosis, treatment, and management of kidney diseases and electrolyte and fluid imbalances of the body. To become a nephrologist, after graduating from medical school, a doctor completes a residency program in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in nephrology.

Nephrologists provide diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of kidney diseases such as glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, pyelonephritis, nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), obstructive uropathy, acute kidney injury (from toxins, medications, or other causes), kidney cancer, as well as chronic kidney disease and kidney failure (end-stage renal disease) associated with systemic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic infections, cancer, or autoimmune diseases.  Nephrologists also perform kidney biopsies and manage a number of therapeutic procedures such as hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, plasmapheresis, renal replacement therapy, and kidney transplantation.

When Should I See A Nephrologist?

Your primary care provider will usually refer you to a nephrologist. You may need to see a nephrologist for managing kidney complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic infections, lupus, or other diseases and for certain genetic diseases such as polycystic kidney disease or sickle cell anemia. You may also need to a see a nephrologist if you have symptoms such as:
  • Changes in urine including hematuria (blood in the urine), proteinuria (protein in the urine, urine may become foamy), or glycosuria (sugar in urine)
  • Excessive or insufficient urination
  • Swelling of feet or puffy eyes
  • Weight gain
  • Pale skin
  • Low back or low abdominal pain
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle twitching or spasms
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Bad (metallic) taste in the mouth
  • Sleepiness, confusion, or coma
  • Itchiness
  • High blood pressure

What Tests Does a Nephrologist Perform or Recommend?

The nephrologist may request several blood or urine tests, including:
  • Complete blood count
  • Urine tests including urine total protein, creatinine, urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio, uric acid, glucose, urine culture, or others
  • Blood tests including urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, total protein, glycemia, myoglobin, and others
  • Clearance tests, such as inulin or creatinine clearance
  • Immunologic tests such as antinuclear antibody (ANA), complement, or antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)
  • Serum and urine electrolytes
  • Blood gases (ABG) and pH
  • Calcium and phosphorus
  • Parathormone (PTH)
  • Erythropoietin
  • Imaging tests such as abdominal ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI, intravenous pyelogram, or others
  • Kidney biopsy

What Procedures Does a Nephrologist Perform or Recommend?

A nephrologist may perform, recommend, or manage the following procedures:
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Hemodialysis (dialysis using a dialyzer)
  • Peritoneal dialysis (dialysis within the body using a special solution)
  • Arteriovenous fistula or dialysis catheter placement for hemodialysis
  • Plasmapheresis (filtration of blood to remove harmful antibodies)
  • Renal cyst drainage
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Thrombectomy, angioplasty, or stenting
  • Renal replacement therapy (RRT)

What Questions Should I Ask A Nephrologist?

You may want to ask these questions:
  • What is the diagnosis? What caused my condition? What are the complications of the disease?
  • What is the extent of damage to my kidneys? Can treatment stop or reverse this damage?
  • What are my treatment options? Are there any side effects of the treatment?
  • What are the risks and complications of the recommended procedure?
  • Are there any alternatives to this treatment?
  • What can I expect as my disease progresses?
  • Do I need to change any of the medicines I take for other health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes?
  • What lifestyle modifications can I make to improve my outlook?
  • Are there any dietary guidelines I need to follow?
  • How often do I need dialysis? Do I need surgery? Will I need kidney transplant in future?
  • What are the emergency signs and symptoms I need to watch out for?
  • Where can I learn more about my condition?
  • How often should I see you?

Doctors waiting to answer your question

Dr. Sree Bhushan
Dr. Sree Bhushan


Exp 22 years

Dr. Dilip M.Babu
Dr. Dilip M.Babu


Exp 18 years

Dr. Avinash Ignatius
Dr. Avinash Ignatius


Exp 17 years

Dr. Van Shantharam
Dr. Van Shantharam


Exp 49 years

...and 18,000+ more Doctors from across the world

Customer Feedback (last week)

98% Satisfied customers

Ask a Nephrologist

for consultation/discussion about Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Resistant Hypertension, Kidney problems, Diabetic Nephropathy, Glomerular disease etc.

Recent Answers by Nephrologist

Psychiatrist, Child

I think I may be having some issues with kidneys and am looking for some advice. I had some blood tests done and my creatinine levels were elevated but my bun levels are normal. my creatinine...

View full Conversation
What our users say
Employers who trust us



and many more...