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. Ask a friend or family member along to your appointment to help you remember important points later. 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.
For membranous nephropathy, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I have a problem with my kidneys?
- How badly do my kidneys seem to be affected?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What are the possible causes of my condition?
- What treatment approach do you recommend? What are my other treatment options?
- What are the possible side effects of treatment?
- Could my condition go away on its own?
- I have other medical problems. How can I manage them together with this condition?
- Is there anything I can do at home to help with my symptoms?
- What can I expect in the long term?
- If I need a kidney transplant, will that cure me or can the disease come back?
- Do you have any printed materials I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions as they occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you questions such as:
Oct. 21, 2014
- Have you noticed any symptoms?
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms and how long have they lasted?
- Does anyone in your family have a kidney disease?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms? Worsen your symptoms?
- Gilbert SJ, et al. National Kidney Foundation's Primer on Kidney Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA.: Elsevier/Saunders; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
- Cattran DC. Treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
- Beck LH, et al. Causes and diagnosis of membranous nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
- Nephrotic syndrome in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/nephrotic/. Accessed Aug. 28, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Herrmann SMS, et al. Membranous nephropathy: The start of a paradigm shift. Current opinion in nephrology and hypertension. 2012;21:203.
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr.cfm. Accessed Sept. 3, 2014.
- Hogan J, et al. Diagnostic tests and treatment options in glomerular disease: 2014 update. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2014;63:656.
- Hofstra JM, et al. Treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2013;9:443.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 20, 2014.
- Fervenza FC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 6, 2014.
- Anti-PLA2R assay guidance. The Renal Association. http://rarerenal.org/clinician-information/membranous-nephropathy-clinician-information/anti-pla2r-assay-guidance/. Accessed Sept. 15, 2014.