Nephrology at USA Health
Our nephrologists care for patients with diseases and disorders of the kidney. We treat patients with lupus and other autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Many of the diseases that affect your kidney affect your entire body.
Lupus and other autoimmune disorders can cause the immune system to attack kidney tissue. This causes scarring and swelling of the tiny blood vessels that carry blood to kidney tissue, thus damaging the tissue and preventing the kidney from functioning properly.
High blood pressure can cause hardening of the blood vessels that deliver blood to the kidney. This damage prevents blood from being able to reach the kidney tissue, so the kidneys don’t get the nutrients and oxygen they need to function properly.
Patients with diabetes have too much sugar, or glucose, in their blood. Elevated glucose levels can cause damage to blood vessels that supply blood to the kidneys. Learn more (links to Diabetes specialty page) about diabetes and the services we offer.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited genetic disorder that causes cysts to form inside the kidneys. While noncancerous, these cysts are filled with fluid. They form in clusters, causing the kidney to become enlarged and unable to function properly.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, occurs when the kidney loses its ability to function over a period of time. This can be caused by any of the conditions listed above.
If you are diagnosed with kidney failure, your kidneys can no longer properly function. Treatments for kidney failure are dialysis and transplant.
There are several ways to test for kidney disease including blood and urine tests.
Blood tests can determine how much blood your kidneys are able to filter per minute. This is known as your glomerular filtration rate or GFR.
Urine tests measure protein in your urine, which can be a sign of kidney disease.
We offer a range of treatments for kidney disease including:
When kidneys cannot function, they do not remove waste products from the blood. Dialysis is a process that takes the place of normal kidney functions. There are two types of dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a machine and a filter to remove water and waste products from the blood. Peritoneal dialysis removes waste products from the blood using a fluid pumped into the abdomen with a catheter.
Blood Pressure Management
High blood pressure can result in kidney disease by causing hardening of the blood vessels that deliver blood to the kidneys. This damage prevents the necessary blood from reaching the kidney tissue, so the kidneys don’t get the nutrients and oxygen they need to function properly. While kidney damage can’t be reversed, you can stop it from progressing by controlling your blood pressure with medication, diet and exercise.
Kidney disease caused by systemic disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune conditions is usually treated with medication. Your doctor will closely monitor your kidney function through regular testing.