Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner if you have any signs or symptoms. If tests reveal you have kidney damage, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney problems (nephrologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, including what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Ask if there's anything you need to do before your appointment, such as limit your diet.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to your kidneys or urinary function.
- Make a list of all your medications, as well as any vitamins or other supplements that you take.
- Write down your key medical history, including any other medical conditions.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be hard to remember all the information, and a relative or friend may hear something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor, listing the most important ones first in case time runs short.
For chronic kidney failure, some basic questions to ask include:
- What is the level of damage to my kidneys?
- Is my kidney function worsening?
- Do I need additional tests?
- What's causing my condition?
- Can the damage to my kidneys be reversed?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Do I need to eat a special diet?
- Can you refer me to a dietitian who can help me plan my meals?
- Should I see a specialist?
- 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?
- How often should I come back to have my kidney function tested?
Don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment as they occur to you.
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