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Nephrology

Nephrology Appointments: 901-866-8810

Locations:

UT Medical Group kidney disease specialists:

University Vascular Access:

Satellite Dialysis:

Nephrology is the medical specialty concerned with the functioning and diseases of the kidneys. Kidney disease can include among others: anemia, chronic renal failure, hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney diseases result from hereditary factors; if your family has a history of any kind of kidney problems, you may be at risk for kidney disease. Doctors diagnose and treat kidney disease using many different therapies among which are changing diet and lifestyle, medication and surgery, and dialysis.


Patient Education


Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?

"Federal statistics estimate that about 23 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), a life-threatening condition that can result in kidney failure and death. Moreover, the number of people with CKD is only expected to grow due to the rising rates of conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure," says UT Medical Group nephrologist Dr. Brad Canada. Kidneys perform crucial functions in your body, including removing waste products and excess fluid through the production of urine. They also help to regulate blood pressure and perform other vital functions. When CKD reaches the point where the kidneys have lost their capacity to function, it is called end stage renal disease (ESRD).

"We're in an epidemic of chronic kidney disease," explains Dr. Darryl Quarles, who leads the nephrology division at UT Medical Group. "In Shelby County alone, more than 2,000 patients are on dialysis for end stage renal disease. Many others have silent chronic kidney disease that is only detectable by measuring renal function with a blood test. Although hypertension and diabetes lead to CKD, CKD itself is a risk factor for death and other complications. People with CKD need to be evaluated and followed by a nephrologist. There are ways to slow the progression of kidney failure and manage its complications."

Prevention
You can minimize your chances of developing chronic kidney disease by eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, controlling your blood pressure, and managing your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

It's also important to know your risk for kidney disease. Individuals who have a family history of CKD are more likely to develop the condition. African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and the elderly also have a higher risk of CKD. Talk with your doctor if you are at high risk for developing kidney disease.

Treatment
Treatment for kidney disease is more likely to be successful if the condition is detected early, says nephrologist Dr. Arif Showkat. Left untreated, the disease can cause one or both kidneys to fail. UT Medical Group nephrologists offer care for kidney disease at several convenient locations in the Memphis area.

If kidney disease progresses to the point that the kidneys fail, dialysis may be used to perform some of the work that the kidneys used to do. To make it easier for patients needing dialysis to get this vital service, UT Medical Group and Satellite Dialysis recently partnered to open two new dialysis centers in Memphis. Dr. Canada will serve as medical director for the Whitehaven facility.  Should complications arise, you have a partner in care with University Vascular Access.  Complications include problems with fistulas, grafts, blood clots, among other vascular access issues.

Nutrition and Diet Information
Please visit the National Kidney Foundation's website for more information.

Additional resources
Discover more about kidney disease by visiting the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. You can also go to the National Kidney Foundation website and take a quiz to see if you are at risk for developing kidney disease.