Preparing for your appointment

If you have signs and symptoms of IgA nephropathy, you're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. However, you may 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 seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment.
  • Make a list of all medications and doses, including 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?
  • 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, such as:

  • 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?