Northland DHB Renal
Public Service, Nephrology
What is Renal Medicine?
Renal medicine, or nephrology, is the branch of medicine that involves the diagnosis and management of people with diseases and conditions of the kidneys.
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, found at the back of your abdominal cavity, that filter out wastes and excess fluid from your blood and excrete them as urine.
Renal medicine includes the urgent care of acutely ill patients as well as those with chronic illness who require long term care. A doctor who specialises in disorders of the kidneys is called a nephrologist. Conditions seen by a nephrologist may include:
- Acute renal failure – the sudden loss of kidney function • Chronic, or long term, renal failure – gradual worsening of kidney function • Haematuria – blood loss in the urine • Proteinuria – protein loss in the urine • Kidney stones • Chronic or frequent urinary tract infections • Hypertension – that has not responded to antihypertensive therapy.
Many kidney disorders may be treated with medications and diet, but if kidney function starts to fail and the condition becomes severe there are several options: Haemodialysis (using a machine to filter the blood), Peritoneal dialysis (using fluid into the lining of the belly), kidney transplantation and non-dialysis therapy.
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This page was last updated at 8:44AM on December 17, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Northland DHB Renal.