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When to see a nephrologist?

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When to see a nephrologist?


Your primary care doctor can help prevent and treat the early stages of kidney disease. However, sometimes these early stages may not have any symptoms or may have nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, and changes in the amount you urinate.

Regular testing can monitor your kidney function, particularly if you’re at risk for kidney disease. These groups include people with:

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • a family history of kidney problems

Testing can detect signs of decreasing kidney function, such as a decreasing GFR value or an increase in the level of albumin in your urine. If your test results indicate rapid or continuing deterioration of kidney function, your doctor may refer you to a nephrologist.

Your doctor may also refer you to a nephrologist if you have any of the following:

  • advanced chronic kidney disease
  • large amounts of blood or protein in your urine
  • recurring kidney stones, though you may also be referred to a urologist for this
  • high blood pressure that’s still high even though you’re taking medications
  • a rare or inherited cause of kidney disease