Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. However, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney health (nephrologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment, and when they began
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including dosages
  • Your and your family's medical history, particularly kidney diseases
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you receive.

For polycystic kidney disease, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is this condition temporary or chronic?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What alternatives are there to the approach you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to restrict my diet or activities?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you know what your blood pressure normally is?
  • Has your kidney function been measured?