Preparing for your appointment

If you have signs and symptoms of IgA nephropathy, you're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating kidney disorders (nephrologist).

What you can do

To get ready for your appointment:

  • Ask about any pre-appointment restrictions, such as fasting for a blood test, when you make the appointment.
  • Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment.
  • Make a list of all medications and doses, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you're taking — or take the original bottles to your appointment.
  • Ask a family member or friend to go with you to help you remember all of the information provided during your appointment.
  • Prepare questions to ask your doctor.

Questions you might want to ask your doctor include:

  • What tests do I need?
  • What is a kidney biopsy and how is it done?
  • Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
  • What are the chances that I'll develop kidney failure? Is there any way to know?
  • What's the best course of action? How long will I have to take medications?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • Can this disease be managed with diet and lifestyle changes alone?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • I've had urinary tract infections in the past. Could these previous infections be a factor?
  • Do you have any printed materials on this condition? Is there a website you can recommend where I can learn more?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
April 08, 2016
References
  1. Gilbert SJ, et al. Immunoglobulin A nephropathy and related disorders. In: National Kidney Foundation's Primer on Kidney Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA.: Elsevier/Saunders; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 27, 2016.
  2. Roberts IS. Pathology of IgA nephropathy. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2014;10:445.
  3. IgA nephropathy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/iga-nephropathy/Pages/facts.aspx . Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  4. Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgA nephropathy). Merck Manuals Professional Edition. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/glomerular-disorders/immunoglobulin-a-nephropathy-(iga-nephropathy). Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  5. IgA nephropathy. National Organization for Rare Disorders. http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/iga-nephropathy/. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  6. IgA nephropathy. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/iganeph. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  7. Barratt J, et al. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of IgA nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2016.
  8. Wyatt RJ, et al. IgA nephropathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:2402.
  9. Vecchio M, et al. Immunosuppressive agents for treating IgA nephropathy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003965.pub2/abstract. Accessed Jan. 31, 2016.
  10. NKF PEERS. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/patients/peers/. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  11. Cook AJ. EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 6, 2016.
  12. Your guide to lowering blood pressure. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-guide-to-lower. Accessed Jan. 29, 2016.
  13. Fervenza FC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 16, 2016.