Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you're suspicious about your signs and symptoms, your first step is likely to see your family doctor or a primary care professional. However, if the first indication that you might have glomerulonephritis is an abnormal urinalysis, your doctor may refer you directly to a kidney specialist (nephrologist).
To make the most of your appointment, it helps to be prepared.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down the symptoms you're having, even if they seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Consider taking a companion along. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember the information you get from your doctor.
- Write down questions you'd like answered.
List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For glomerulonephritis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- How badly do my kidneys seem to be affected?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- Will I need dialysis?
- I have other medical problems. How can I manage them together with this condition?
- What restrictions do I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Does anyone in your family have a history of glomerulonephritis or other kidney disease?
- Do you have a history of high blood pressure?
- Your kidneys and how they work. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/yourkidneys/index.htm#rate. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Glomerulonephritis. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/glomerul.cfm. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Glomerular diseases. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/glomerular/. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Glomerular diseases. In: Kumar V, et al. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier, 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0792-2..50025-0--cesec6&isbn=978-1-4377-0792-2&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0792-2..50025-0--cesec6&uniqId=234806001-3. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Rose BD, et al. Differential diagnosis of glomerular disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Lau KK, et al. Glomerulonephritis. Adolescent Medicine Clinics. 2005;16:67.