If you have signs and symptoms of IgA nephropathy, you're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating kidney disorders (nephrologist).
What you can do
To get ready for your appointment:
- Ask about any pre-appointment restrictions, such as fasting for a blood test, when you make the appointment.
- Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment.
- Make a list of all medications and doses, including any over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you're taking — or take the original bottles to your appointment.
- Ask a family member or friend to go with you to help you remember all of the information provided during your appointment.
- Prepare questions to ask your doctor.
Questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What tests do I need to determine if I have IgA nephropathy?
- What is a kidney biopsy and how is it done?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What are the chances that I'll develop kidney failure? Is there any way to know?
- What's the best course of action? How long will I have to take medications?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Can this disease be managed with diet and lifestyle changes alone?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- I've had urinary tract infections in the past. Could these previous infections be a factor?
- Do you have any printed materials on this condition? Is there a website you can recommend where I can learn more?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions. Be ready to answer them so you can reserve time to go over points you want to focus on. For example, your doctor may ask:
April 19, 2013
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
IgA nephropathy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/iganephropathy/. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Nephrotic syndrome. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec17/ch235/ch235b.html. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Barratt J, et al. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of IgA nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Barratt J, et al. Pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Anderson CF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 18, 2013.
- Cattran DC, et al. Treatment and prognosis of IgA nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Lv J, et al. Corticosteroid therapy in IgA nephropathy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2012;23:1108.
- IgA nephropathy. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/iganeph.cfm. Accessed March 15, 2013.
- Your guide to lowering blood pressure. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/hbp_low/index.htm. Accessed March 16, 2013.
- Miller HL. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2013.
- PEERS Lending Support. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/patients/peers/index.cfm. Accessed March 16, 2013.
- Fervenza FC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 18, 2013.