Nephrology & Kidney Diseases
Nephrology deals with function or disease of the kidneys
Our experts provide full-spectrum care to help you reduce the impact of kidney disease on your life.
Kidney diseases can require you to make significant changes in how you live or even threaten your life. Our nephrology specialists at Indiana University Health provide effective treatments—including transplantation—that allow you to live more normally. To provide the right treatment for your particular needs, we offer inpatient, outpatient and even innovative at-home treatments to patients.
There are many kinds of kidney disease that can have a variety of impacts on your life. Some, such as difficulty urinating or blood in the urine, are recognizable as problems with the urinary system. Others, such as fatigue, severe itching and shortness of breath, can seem to have no relation to kidney dysfunction.
Comprehensive evaluation and treatment
Nephrologists with IU Health are skilled at diagnosing all kinds of kidney disorders. By correctly diagnosing a disease, they can prescribe effective treatment.
The range of conditions we treat includes, but is not limited to:
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease has many causes and while some types of kidney disease can be treated and cured, other types can only be slowed and may eventually progress. In order to minimize the damage done by the disease and prevent the progression of kidney disease, IU Health nephrologists prescribe needed medication, dietary interventions and educate patients on preventative treatments to preserve kidney function. Treatments to preserve kidney function can include dietary interventions, diabetes management, weight management and medications to treat high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease, and hormone deficiencies associated with chronic kidney disease.
Hypertension management treatments work to lower high blood pressure through medication and lifestyle changes to prevent or slow organ damage. Nephrologists specialize in difficult to control hypertension. Lifestyle changes to manage hypertension can include weight management, healthy diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption and eliminating smoking. Managing hypertension through medication and lifestyle changes also reduces a patient’s risk of stroke, heart conditions and kidney disease.
For the first few months after a kidney transplant, IU Health Nephrologists work in coordination with a patient’s transplant surgeon and nephrologist on a continuous basis to oversee diagnostic and medical care. Post kidney transplant treatments include medication, physical examinations, blood tests, urine tests and X-rays.
Dialysis is a treatment procedure that substitutes for the normal duties of the kidneys and allows patients with chronic kidney disease to live productive lives. A physician will work with patients to determine when symptoms or blood tests may require dialysis. Depending on the patient’s condition and preferences, dialysis can be done in an outpatient unit or at home.
Kidney stone management and treatment depends on the type of kidney stone and cause of the stone. The IU Health Kidney Stone clinic is a preventive clinic where the cause of recurrent stones is determined through history, blood tests, and specialized urine studies. Dietary and medication therapies are then started and tests are utilized to monitor response. In the vast majority of patients, stones can be stopped or the frequency reduced.
Proteinuria and Hematuria Management
The kidney acts as a filter for blood, and when protein (proteinuria) or blood (hematuria) appears in the urine, it is a sign of underlying kidney disease. Proteinuria is often associated with diabetes and hypertension, but diseases that are specific to the kidney may also be the cause. Hematuria is often a symptom of internal damage to the kidney. The kidney specialist can determine the cause of the proteinuria or hematuria and determine what treatment is appropriate.
Our entire team works to evaluate, treat, manage and educate patients to ensure kidney health, enabling our patients to reach their overall treatment goals. To effectively address your kidney disorder, our nephrology team is committed to working closely with you and your primary care physician to fully explore your treatment options and help you accurately choose the right treatment for you. Different treatment options may include:
- Chronic kidney disease management
- Fluid and electrolyte management
- Hemodialysis care, including home hemodialysis and in-center hemodialysis
- Hypertension management
- Kidney stones management
- Kidney transplants and post-transplant assistance
- Peritoneal dialysis care
- Placement of various dialysis catheters and renal biopsy
- Proteinuria and hematuria management
We’re building the future
Through the Indiana University School of Medicine [Link to http://medicine.iupui.edu/neph/], our doctors are involved in teaching the next generation of nephrologists and kidney disease specialists. Our fellowship program is one of the leading programs in the country, and our physicians conduct extensive research that ensures you have access to the latest advances in nephrology and treatment for kidney diseases.
Learn more about nephrology and kidney diseases
For more information about nephrology and kidney diseases, visit the websites below:
- International Kidney Stone Institute The IKSI is a charitable organization, affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine, dedicated to supporting research and education for the detection, management and prevention of kidney stones.
- National Institutes of Health National Kidney Disease Education Program This U.S. government website provides easy-to-understand information on a variety topics related to kidney disease.
- The National Kidney Foundation On this easy-to-use website, NKF provides extensive information about many kinds of kidney disease.
- Ukidney (Internet School of Nephrology, the official educational partner of the International Society of Nephrology) This resource-rich website is intended for physicians, but may help you understand some of the more technical aspects of kidney disease.