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What To Expect When Visiting a Nephrologist For The First Time

A nephrologist, or kidney doctor, is a health professional whose focus is to assess, diagnose, and treat kidney-related problems. You may be referred to a nephrologist by your primary care physician if they detect that you have more than one major sign of kidney disorder.

Having a kidney issue may seem distressing, but with a nephrologist, you can receive the help and treatment you need to tackle your kidney problems. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from your initial visit with one of our providers at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida.

Getting Ready For Your First Visit With A Nephrologist

During the initial appointment, your nephrologist will collect data about your overall well-being and the state of your kidneys. It is prudent to have various information prepared before your appointment, including the following:

List Of Common Signs And Symptoms

Your physician will ask you about the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing. Feel free to write down a list beforehand so you don’t forget anything you want to discuss. Some of the signs and symptoms related to kidney problems include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Alterations in urination patterns
  • Pain when urinating
  • Swelling around your eyes, legs, or feet
  • Blood in the urine
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Variations in urine

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the following symptoms of chronic renal disease that may not initially appear to be related to the kidney:

  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Muscle twitches or cramps

Medical History And Records

Your medical history and records are also important to bring to your initial appointment. You can either fill out a form with us or have your records sent over from your primary care physician. With this information, we can identify potential risk factors associated with renal disease.

Your susceptibility to kidney disease may increase if there is a family history of kidney problems, especially from immediate family members such as parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Having pre-existing conditions such as heart problems, hypertension, diabetes, or obesity can also elevate your risk of having kidney disease. Additionally, factors like cholesterol medications, some over-the-counter pain medications, and proton pump inhibitors may also lead to renal problems.

Assessing Your Kidney Well-Being

Your kidney specialist will perform a physical examination to take a look at both your overall health and renal well-being. They will also examine your heart and lung function and check to see if you have any swelling in the face.

Your nephrologist may also recommend certain tests or scans to determine how well your kidneys are functioning.

Schedule A Consultation Today

Kidney issues frequently receive little attention or go undetected, but the earlier any issues are identified, the more effective it is to treat them. Dr. Tandon and Dr. Puri are both highly skilled nephrologists and are here to provide professional support throughout your journey from your first appointment to diagnosis to treatment.

Schedule a consultation today at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida by calling our Jacksonville, FL office at +1 904-593-5333 or using our online contact form. We look forward to assisting you in managing your kidney health.

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Are Dialysis Treatments Painful?

When a patient’s kidneys weaken or fail, dialysis is a lifeline. Kidneys are the body’s filtering system, clearing the blood of waste, toxins, and built-up fluids. There are two basic methods to do this artificially. Are these procedures painful? The short answer is no, but discomfort and some minor pain points exist.

Causes for Dialysis

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the slow loss of kidney function. Early diagnosis can add years of living without dialysis. Diabetes and high blood pressure weaken the kidneys. Other conditions that contribute to loss of function include autoimmune diseases, genetic diseases, and acute kidney injuries.

The Process of Kidney Dialysis


The process of filtering the blood outside of the body is hemodialysis. Blood is drawn from the forearm and then sent to a mechanical device and filter. After filtering, the clean blood returns via a second tube. The filtering removes excess fluid and waste.

Peritoneal Dialysis

The patient’s lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) serves as a natural filter. With a catheter, dialysis solution is gently pumped into the abdomen. Waste and excess fluid move through the peritoneum walls. Then, the dialysis solution drains as part of the treatment.

Sensations and Discomfort

New patients often worry that dialysis will be painful, but the reality is that pain rarely occurs. With the hours of filtering, most patients do not report pain. Technicians can minimize pain points with well-known precautions.

Vascular Access

A surgically installed fistula, a graft, or a catheter allows access for dialysis. Placing one of these devices is a minor pain point, but with proper maintenance, they can stay in place between many treatments.


It is critical to maintain high standards of hygiene. Patients need to keep the access site dry and clean. Grafts tend to clot more. With fistulas and grafts, blood continues to flow correctly. Capping catheters between treatments allows for the reuse of the site. In all cases, following doctor’s orders is critical to avoid complications.

Hemodialysis Discomfort:

Patients will experience slight vibrations when blood flows during the procedure, which indicates good access. Many feel cold due to the cool air at treatment centers. Also, the blood mildly cools when circulating outside the body. Then, there will be a sensation of bloating.

Peritoneal Dialysis Discomfort:

Patients often experience a sensation of fullness due to the dialysis solution filling the abdomen. During the filling and draining, if the catheter pushes against the abdominal wall, some discomfort can result. There are several medical protocols to avoid distress.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a lifesaving procedure. The majority of patients have a positive feeling that they are doing the best for themselves and their families. The pain is minimal, and you can live many more years.

Schedule Your Consultation

The Kidney Clinic of North Florida has experienced, friendly staff to make patients feel welcome and comfortable. Drs Gaurav Tandon, MD, and Vishesh Puri, MD, are specialists who have the experience and skills to ensure procedures align with the latest medically proven technology. Call today or complete the online contact form. They are anxious to serve your needs.