Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Most people are already hospitalized when they develop acute kidney failure. If you or a loved one develops signs and symptoms of kidney failure, bring up your concerns with your doctor or nurse.

If you aren't in the hospital, but have signs or symptoms of kidney failure, make an appointment with your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor suspects you have kidney problems, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney disease (nephrologist).

Before your meeting with the doctor, write down your questions. Consider asking:

  • Are my kidneys working properly?
  • Do I have kidney failure?
  • What's causing my kidney problems?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • Will my kidneys recover?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the potential risks of each treatment option?
  • Do I need dialysis?
  • Do I need to go to the hospital?
  • How long will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to follow any restrictions?
  • Do I need to eat a special diet?
  • Can you refer me to a dietitian to help me plan my diet?
  • Should I see a specialist? Will my insurance cover that?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Do you have any printed materials that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment as they occur to you.

Jul. 06, 2012

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