Nephrology is a branch of medical science that deals with diseases of the kidneys. What do the kidneys do? The kidneys are vital for life with their complex network of blood vessels and intricate network of tubes and tubules that filter blood of its waste products and excess water. The kidneys maintain the fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base regulation that are altered by several disease conditions as well as drugs and toxins.
For patients with advanced kidney disease, interactions with clinicians and with the wider health system, combined with patients' own struggle to understand their illness, can exact a large emotional toll. The findings, which come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), indicate that a deeper appreciation of patients' emotional experiences may offer important opportunities to improve care.