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Nephrology is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney. Because the kidney performs so many critical functions, nephrologists maintain expertise in primary kidney disorders, but also the management of the systemic consequences of kidney dysfunction.

If your primary care or family doctor thinks your kidneys aren’t working well, they may send you to a nephrologist. They’ll look for the cause of the problem and come up with a treatment plan that slows or stops it. You might need a referral from your regular doctor for insurance to cover the cost of your visit.

Some of the diseases nephrologists treat are:

  • Kidney disease. This is when your kidneys are damaged over time. You might not have severe symptoms until the disease is more advanced. But if your doctor catches it early, medications and lifestyle changes may help you avoid more damage.
  • Kidney failure. This is the late stage of kidney disease. If your nephrologist recommends dialysis (which cleans your blood with a machine), they’ll be in charge of your care. They may also suggest a kidney transplant. This is typically handled by a different team and a nephrologist who specializes in transplants. You’ll probably keep seeing this person until your transplant and after.
  • High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure that’s been hard to get under control, your nephrologist can help.
  • Nephrotic syndrome. This is when protein leaks into your urine. It can lead to swelling in different parts of your body.
  • Polycystic kidney disease. This happens when fluid-filled cysts grow in your kidneys. If they get too big, they can cause damage and may lead to kidney failure. The condition may bring on symptoms like back or side pain, a bigger belly, and bloody pee.

Dr. Vijay Bhasin is an Ascension St. Vicent, Nephrology Specialist affiliated with Daviess Community Hospital.

All day clinic held the 2nd Thursday and 3rd Friday of each month.

Located 2nd floor of the Hospital

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