NEPHROLOGY & KIDNEY DISEASE
Nephrology is a branch of internal medicine related to the function and diseases of the kidney. Nephrologists concern themselves with both the diagnosis of kidney disease and its treatment (medications, dialysis), and also with follow-up of renal transplant patients. In addition, most nephrologists also manage electrolyte disorders and hypertension.
There are two types of kidney disease; Chronic Kidney Failure (CKF) and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). CKF occurs when the kidneys stop working and never regain function. This condition may be caused by an underlying medical conditions (ie.diabetes or hypertenstion) or heredity may play a part in CKF. Patients with CKF have two different types of treatment options: dialysis or transplant.
AKI is caused by an unexpected event that damages the kidney. This may be due to some type of poisoning, severe infection, or trauma.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a medical condition where the blood pressure is chronically elevated. Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure.
Hypertension can be classified as either essential or secondary. Essential hypertension is the term used when no specific medical cause can be found to explain a patient’s condition. Secondary hypertension means that the high blood pressure is a result of (i.e. secondary to) another condition, such as kidney disease.