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Talking to Your Doctor About Chronic Kidney Disease
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- Do I have any signs of chronic kidney disease?
- If so, how severe and what stage is it?
- Do I have any signs of complications, such as high blood pressure or anemia?
- What caused my condition?
- What is the chance I will develop chronic kidney disease?
- Should I be screened for chronic kidney disease?
- Should my family members be screened?
- How can I decrease the risk that I’ll develop chronic kidney disease?
- What treatments are available to me?
What medications are available to me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with the medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking?
What is my long-term outlook for:
- Daily living activities?
- Physical activity and exercise?
- How will this affect my family?
- Should I follow a special diet?
- Are there any dietary changes I should make? Where do I start?
Should I begin an exercise program?
- What kind of exercise is best?
- How often should I exercise?
- How do I get started exercising?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- How can I get help to quit smoking?
- Can you recommend some support groups for me and for my family?
- How will I know that my treatment has been effective?
- What is my expected prognosis?
- How often will I need check-ups?
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015
- Update Date: 05/20/2015