Conditions Treated By Kidney Doctors
Kidney doctors care for people with a number of different types of kidney disease including:
- Acute kidney injury: Acute kidney disease refers to the rapid onset of kidney disease often related to conditions such as shock , dehydration, kidney problems related to surgery, or inadequate drainage from the urinary tract .
- Chronic renal failure: Chronic kidney disease can be caused by a number of different conditions
There is a wide range of medical problems that can affect the kidneys in different ways. Some of the more common conditions which can cause kidney failure include:
- Diabetes : Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the United States
- Kidney disease related to high blood pressure and heart disease
- Kidney stones which cause obstruction
- Congenital kidney problems such as horseshoe kidney
- Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys which can be caused by a number of different processes, including the bacteria which causes strep throat.
- Kidney disease related to lupus
- Polycystic kidney disease: Cystic kidney disease is hereditary, though the severity of the disease, as well as age of onset, can vary
- Autoimmune diseases such as IgA nephropathy
- Kidney failure secondary to liver disease
Chronic kidney disease is described by five stages based on the severity of the disease. Grade 1 kidney failure refers to a mild disease, whereas grade 5 renal failure usually indicates that dialysis or a kidney transplant will be needed.
Dont Wait To Get Incontinence Help
When experiencing symptoms, the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health is to seek help for incontinence as soon as possible. Toning and strengthening the pelvic floor is often key to controlling bladder leakage. And the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to regain control of bladder leaks. Your physician will work with you to determine the best course of action and treatment option for your body.
One of the most effective devices for treating SUI is an easy-to-use, nonvaginal device that uses gentle electrical stimulation to tighten your pelvic floor muscles. FDA-cleared ELITONE is worn externally like a pad and can be used in the comfort of your home. Learn more by for incontinence help in women.
ELITONE stress incontinence help:
- Nine out of 10 gynecologists said they would prescribe ELITONE.
- 100% externalnothing goes inside you.
- Youll notice fewer leaks in as little as 6 weeks!
Family Medicine/primary Care Physician
This type of doctor is a general practitioner and provides broad care to many acute, chronic and preventative medical conditions. The Family Medicine doctor will help you identify the type of incontinence you have and talk with you about your options. The family medicine doctor may prescribe medication or other treatment, or, for more advanced cases, refer you to a specialist focused in urology.
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Finding The Right Specialist For Urinary Incontinence
MORE+Who do you see that cares about your bladder health?
You may be asking yourself: What are the types of doctors I can see for bladder leaks? This is a great question, and it really depends on so many things. Keep reading for tips on how to find the right specialist for your bladder or bowel health condition.
What Training Does My Urologist Have
As with all doctors, urologists must complete an undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. But did you know the training doesn’t stop there? After medical school, a urologist will have five or six more years of training called residency. Residency programs may include one or two years of surgical training. After that, there may be three or four years of clinical training in urology. . All urologists will have both surgical and clinical training. Next, some urologists may choose to do one or two more years of training called a fellowship. Fellowships allow doctors to focus on a specific branch of urology, such as urologic oncology , female urology, pediatric urology, male infertility, sexual health and erectile dysfunction, or kidney stones. Urologists must also pass a licensing exam, and be board-certified by the American Board of Urology.
Even licensed and board-certified urologists are constantly learning and improving their skills. To keep their licenses and stay up to date in the latest knowledge, urologists are required to take education courses each year. “We are always learning,” Dr. Weiss explained. “Throughout my career we have seen many improvements in diagnosis, treatment and technique. So our success rates get better and better. We keep advancing and every day there’s something new!”
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Reasons To See A Gynecologist
Common symptoms that indicate you should see a gynecologist include:
Increased vaginal discharge and/or color changes in discharge
Itching, swelling, or soreness in the vaginal area
Lumps or sores in the vaginal area
Pain or discomfort during sex
Unusual vaginal odor
Neurological diseases of the bladder
Recurrent urinary tract infections
Talking about issues related to the reproductive and urinary systems can be uncomfortable for women, but its the first step toward getting the right treatment. Stress urinary incontinence, UTIs, pelvic pain, and prolapse are common conditions many women experience, and doctors who specialize in these issues are here to help.
If youre not sure if you should see a urologist or gynecologist, talk to your primary-care doctor. They can refer you to the right specialist to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
Be Sure To Seek Out The Right Specialist
As with anything, it may take a little trial and error before you find the right doctor. If you are having trouble getting a diagnosis, or think you may have been misdiagnosed, consider the other possibility that you are not seeing the right specialist. Your symptoms may stem from a completely different area of the body that your current doctor or specialist is not as, well, specialized in.
That being said, some common specialists that deal with bladder or bowel health conditions are:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
The signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence vary by the type of incontinence you have. Symptoms may include:
- Leaking urine during everyday activities, such as lifting, coughing, bending, or exercising
- Leaking urine without warning or any sense that you needed to pee
- Having the sudden, strong urge to urinate that causes you to rush to the bathroom
- Being able unable to physically reach the toilet in time
- Wetting your bed at night
- Leaking urine during sex
If you are having any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a qualified healthcare provider.
What Steps Can I Take At Home To Treat Urinary Incontinence
Your doctor or nurse may suggest some things you can do at home to help treat urinary incontinence. Some people do not think that such simple actions can treat urinary incontinence. But for many women, these steps make urinary incontinence go away entirely, or help leak less urine. These steps may include:
You can also buy pads or protective underwear while you take other steps to treat urinary incontinence. These are sold in many stores that also sell feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads.
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Getting The Right Diagnosis
If youre experiencing urinary incontinence, dont hesitate to visit your doctor and explain your symptoms. Many types of doctors can diagnose urinary incontinence, including a primary care physician, OB/GYN or urologist. Urogynecologists have special training and expertise in womens incontinence issues.
Your doctor will take a detailed medical history and conduct a physical exam. This includes a detailed pelvic exam to assess the organs and muscles. Your doctor will also look for signs of underlying medical conditions that may be causing incontinence and perform any necessary diagnostic tests. You may be asked to keep a bladder diary to keep track of when you urinate and when you experience leakage. After the doctor has examined all the data, he or she will make a diagnosis and discuss potential treatments.
Finding The Right Specialist
First thing first, lets start with your Primary Doctor or your GP. This is often the person youll see first and is a great step. Your GP is your home base, someone you go to for initial consultations, and who youve likely seen many times before for checkups and other health concerns. This makes them a great first step when determining the causes of bladder and bowel leakage.
You hopefully also have a good relationship with them, which can ease some of the discomforts of talking about things like a leaky bladder or pelvic floor pain. Because your GP knows you and your health so well, they will likely be helpful in diagnosing what is causing those pesky bladder or bowel leaks, as there may be other underlying conditions he or she is also treating you for that are contributing.
However, even if that is the case, your GP may not always be the right person for this job in the long run. Here are some reasons why:
Its possible they will give an incomplete or incorrect diagnosis.
Because a GP has not undergone specialized training in urological health, they may not catch things that a urologist would that contribute to your diagnosis and, in turn, your treatment.
They may not be completely focused on your bladder/bowel health issues.
Because your GP treats your overall health, they may be more focused on other health concerns that youre experiencing, and may not give much time for you to talk about those bladder leaks youre experiencing.
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You Have To Urinate Frequently
Are you going to the bathroom more often than usual? Do you feel like you have to go urgently even if your bladder is not full? Are you waking up during the night? These are all reasons to see the urologist. Increased urinary frequency and urgency may be symptoms of several conditions that your urologist can diagnose and treat, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Overactive bladder
Letting Your Doctor Know How You Feel
Kathleen knew she wanted to get help for her leaky bladder. “Once you have a problem with incontinence, it becomes all you think about,” she says. “Even something as simple as going to a store takes planning.â She sought help early on, learned about her options, knew what she wanted to try first, and communicated her desires to her doctor.
Kathleen decided to have surgery to implant a urethral sling at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC. Changes in the pelvic floor muscles can cause the bladder to move out of it’s normal position and a sling helps hold it back in. She was pleased with the results.
Fourteen years later, however, she noticed symptoms of stress incontinence again. âI was just leaking a little,â she says. âBut I knew about physical therapy and felt that if I worked on developing those muscles now, before it got really bad, I wouldnât need to have surgery again.â She also wanted to avoid taking medications, if possible.
Her doctor referred her to a urogynecologist, a specialist in urinary and associated pelvic floor problems. âI told him I wanted to try physical therapy first, unless it was something I couldnât do because of prior surgery or other issues,” Kathleen says.
The urogynecologistâs exam turned up two issues adding to her stress incontinence — a weak urethra and a prolapsed, or dropped, bladder. He advised trying intensive pelvic floor physical therapy, including Kegel exercises, and referred her for nine weeks of treatment.
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Urologists Perform Certain Procedures That A Gp Cannot
GPs focus more on preventative care and managing acute and chronic illness. You wouldnt go to a general practitioner to get your kidney stone removed because this is a specialty surgery that only a urologist should perform. But you would go to your GP to make sure it is a kidney stone and not referred pain from other sources.
As a urologist, Ive performed many procedures to treat disorders that affect genitourinary health, including prostate surgery, testicular surgery, circumcision and bladder tumor resection to remove and treat cancer. Some of these procedures require robotic surgery and other just the use of small instruments into our body. Most urologists have performed hundreds if not, thousands of these procedures and are specially equipped to deliver the best results for their patients.
So, when should you see a urologist versus a general practitioner? I would start by making sure you are getting all your general screening done by your GP. They will then determine if you need to see us. You are always welcome to call our office and see if you can skip the GP visit but often times even if you want that your insurance company may not.
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Women And Urinary Incontinence
It’s important to observe as much as possible about your urinary incontinence so you and your doctor can develop the right treatment for you. For example, when you get an intense urge to pee, are you unable to make it to the toilet without urinating — a sign of urge incontinence? Or do you leak small amounts of urine — a symptom of stress incontinence?
Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence in young and middle-aged women. It can be caused by changes that occur during pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. In Kathleen’s case, the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, had torn during her first delivery. Before the birth of her second child, she religiously did Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles, which help hold in urine. But the baby was close to 10 pounds and the delivery took a further toll.
Overactive bladder happens when inappropriate nerve signals are sent to the bladder, creating the âgotta goâ sensation, although the bladder may not be full or it is an inappropriate time. This can lead to involuntary loss of urine. OAB can be the result of nerve or muscle damage, medical conditions, even a reaction to medications.
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You Have A Urinary Tract Infection That Wont Go Away
If you experience burning, painful and frequent urination that doesnt improve with antibiotics, it could be a sign that you have interstitial cystitis , also known as a painful bladder. A urologist will test your urine and examine your bladder with a cystoscope to make the diagnosis. IC can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and can also be prevented by avoiding certain triggers, typically alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine and chocolate.
What Are Some Of The Different Types Of Urinary Incontinence
The following are some of the different types of urinary incontinence:
Urgency incontinence: This is the inability to hold urine long enough to reach a restroom. It can be associated with having to urinate often and feeling a strong, sudden urge to urinate. It can be a separate condition, but it may also be an indication of other diseases or conditions that would also warrant medical attention.
Stress incontinence: This is the leakage of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects or performing other body movements that put pressure on the bladder.
Functional incontinence: This is urine leakage due to a difficulty reaching a restroom in time because of physical conditions, such as arthritis, injury or other disabilities.
Overflow incontinence. Leakage occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladders capacity to hold it.
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What To Do At Home
To ease your pain or discomfort until antibiotics can work to remedy the infection:
- Drink more water to dilute urine and help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.
- Avoid drinking fluids that irritate the bladder such as alcohol, soft drinks, coffee or other caffeine drinks, or citrus juices while you have the infection. These may increase the frequency of sensing an urgent need to urinate.
- Use a heating pad set on warm temperature , placed on your abdominal area, to reduce bladder discomfort or pressure.
Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence
No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.
Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.
After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12
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Visiting The Doctor For A Uti Heres What You Need To Know
If you think you might have a urinary tract infection , its important get a check up from your health care provider. Heres what you need to know before the visit.
The best way to prepare for your appointment is to know your symptoms and medical history, such as past UTIs, what kinds of antibiotics you took, and any allergies to medications. According to Stanford primary care physician Kim Chiang, MD, these conversations can be very personal, but its critical to tell the doctor the whole story.
Video visits are becoming more popular for UTIs, offering a similar appointment, but without the possibility of an in-person physical exam or urine test. Knowing what to expect can prepare you to help your doctor to provide the best possible care.
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What To Ask At Your Appointment
As with any doctors appointment, there are two things that will ensure you get the most accurate diagnosis and treatment: preparation and honesty. Here are some ideas to maximize your appointment.
- Diary. You know yourself and your habits better than anyone, so its a good idea to keep a diary over a few days. List your diet, frequency of bathroom visits , and any leaks.
- Medical history. Write down your medications and dosages, plus any recent medical procedures or health issues.
- Ask questions. Are there foods or supplements that can help with SUI? After explaining how you are managing leaks, are there other options that could help? How can you protect your clothes, mattress, furniture?
- Learn about all the treatment options. Ask your doctor if there are treatment options you can do at home. How effective is each treatment? Which ones have the best results according to your doctors experience? Which treatments have been cleared by the FDA?
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