Nephrology deals with diseases related to the kidneys; the treatment focus is upon preservation of kidney health, as well as renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation).
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition which results in a gradual loss of kidney function over time. An estimated 30 million Americans have CKD and an increasing number of others are at risk of CKD. The two main factors contributing to CKD are hypertension and diabetes. If left untreated, CKD can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or kidney replacement.
The other common kidney diseases include the following:
- Glomerulonephritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtering units.
- Lupus and other diseases that affect the body’s immune system.
- Kidney stones or tumors or an enlarged prostrate in men.
- Urinary infections
- Polycystic kidney disease caused by large cysts in the kidneys which damage the surrounding tissue.