Nephrologists are specialized physicians who diagnose, treat, and manage acute and chronic kidney conditions. Living with kidney conditions can be very difficult and affect one’s quality of life, so it’s always important to prioritize preventive kidney care when possible.
If you notice anything different or unusual happening with your bladder and kidneys, it may be time to see a nephrologist. Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder and can eventually spread to the kidneys if left untreated. UTI symptoms include pressure in the lower pelvis, urinary urgency, inability to void urine, bladder pain, pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, and cloudy urine.
If you experience recurring or chronic UTIs, it’s time to see a nephrologist. They can run the right tests to make sure your kidneys are functioning properly and help determine the cause of the infections to protect your renal health.
Recurring Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys and eventually pass through the urinary tract. They usually do not cause symptoms until they pass through the urethra, which can include sharp pains in the side and back, below the ribs, that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin. This pain may come and go and vary in intensity, and you may experience pain or burning while urinating.
Other symptoms include dark and discolored urine, foul-smelling urine, urinary frequency, nausea, and fever or chills. Frequent kidney stones can be hinting at an underlying kidney issue that requires a nephrologist’s expertise. If a kidney stone doesn’t pass properly, it can lead to infection and may require surgical removal.
Signs of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease or renal failure is referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because the symptoms are not usually noticeable until the condition is advanced. By the time it is diagnosed in many patients, the only options in treatment are dialysis and kidney transplant. According to CDC data, 9 in 10 people living with kidney disease aren’t even aware they have it.
If you experience any combination of these symptoms, it’s time to see a nephrologist:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Changes in urination
- Edema or swelling (most often in the face, legs, or ankles)
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or low appetite
- Chronic fatigue or brain fog
Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
At Summit Medical Clinic, we provide consultation and ongoing care for the prevention and treatment of kidney-related diseases. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (719) 259-0125.