You'll likely start by seeing your primary care doctor if you have signs or symptoms of kidney disease. If lab tests reveal you have kidney damage, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney problems (nephrologist).
What you can do
To get ready for your appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do ahead of time, such as limit your diet. Then make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to your kidneys or urinary function
- All your medications and doses, including vitamins or other supplements that you take
- Your key medical history, including any other medical conditions
- Questions to ask your doctor, listing the most important ones first in case time runs short
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.
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?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you questions such as:
March 28, 2014
- 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 or diabetes mellitus?
- The kidneys and how they work. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/yourkidneys/index.aspx. Accessed Nov. 4, 2013.
- Glomerulonephritis. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/glomerul.cfm. Accessed Nov. 4, 2013.
- Glomerular diseases. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/glomerular/index.aspx. Accessed Nov. 4, 2013.
- Kumar V, et al. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 11, 2013.
- Hebert LA, et al. Differential diagnosis and evaluation of glomerular disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 4, 2013.
- Taal MW, et al. Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Wyatt RJ, et al. IgA nephropathy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:2402.