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Talking to Your Doctor About End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you may not have thought of.
- 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 your questions or ask for more information. You have a right to know.
- Have my kidneys permanently and totally failed?
- Do you have any handouts or information that I may take with me?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for a renal failure?
- What can I do to help prevent renal failure?
- Are there any medications available to help me?
- What are the benefits and side effects of medications?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies I should look into?
- Will I be cured?
- What type of dialysis do you recommend? Why?
- What are the complications of the different types of dialysis?
- Am I a candidate for a kidney transplant?
- How do I get on a transplant list?
- What tests do you do to locate a good match for me?
- How long is the wait to get a good match?
- What are the complications after the transplant?
- How long do I need to take the immunosuppression drugs after the transplant?
- What are some common side effects of these drugs?
Can I exercise?
- What type of exercise is best?
- How much should I be exercising?
- How do I get started with an exercise program?
Should I make any dietary changes? How do I go about it?
- Should I see a dietitian?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
Should I check my blood pressure at home? How do I go about it?
- At what level should I maintain my blood pressure?
- What should I do if my pressure goes above a certain level?
- How often will you monitor my blood pressure and cholesterol level?
- How do I know if my blood pressure is within healthy limits?
- How often will you check my blood mineral levels?
- Will I be able to live a normal life?
- Will I be able to work and travel?
- How long will dialysis take and what will it be like?
- Will I die without dialysis?
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 11/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015