Nephrology is the branch of medicine focused on the physiology and diseases of the kidneys. The kidneys, each the size of a clenched fist, are located on both sides of the spine. Your kidneys function as filters to remove waste products from your blood as it circulates through your body. This means that your kidneys filter between 120-150 pints of blood (depending on your size) and up to two quarts of urine each day. It's not optimal but it is possible for the body to function with just one kidney.

Nephrologists diagnose and treat kidney diseases. This category includes diseases and conditions that are caused by kidneys that aren't functioning well, such as hypertension, as well as conditions that cause kidney problems, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Kidney problems may be treated in a variety of ways, including lifestyle change, medication, dialysis and surgery.

Conditions that nephrologists treat include:

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