Nephrology is the branch a medicine that deals with the kidneys and diseases of the kidneys. The kidneys and the bladder are referred to as both the urinary system and the renal system. Renal, nephrology and kidney are often used interchangeably but ultimately refer to the same area of medicine. Doctors who specialize in kidney disease are called nephrologists.
Nephrology deals with both the normal functioning of the kidneys, as well as, several of its diseases. Some of the more common complications include kidney stones, kidney infections, kidney cancer, damage from diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, kidney vascular disease which affects the blood flow within the kidneys, and genetic diseases like polycystic kidney. Nephrology also deals with kidney replacement therapy such as dialysis and transplant.
The best way to preserve kidney function is to follow general guidelines on healthy living: following a healthy diet, being active, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, prudent use of medications, and managing any disease-related complications that are know to damage the kidneys like high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Diet therapy and the subsequent guidelines for eating depend on the stage of kidney disease. The following applies to the nutritional management of chronic kidney disease whereby the individual incorporates the dietary guidelines and modifies his or her food preparation.