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New to Kidney Disease: 7 Questions to Ask a Doctor

It’s common for people diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to feel overwhelmed in a doctor’s office, because there is a lot of information to take in at once. The best way to gain control is to become your own advocate. It’s OK to ask as many questions as you like and to ask for the information to be repeated. If being assertive is difficult, ask a friend or family member to come with you. Take notes so you can remember any additional questions or concerns that occur between visits. It’s good to become proactive when you’re new to kidney disease. Here are seven questions to ask your doctor:

  1. What caused my kidney disease?
  2. What percentage of kidney function do I have now?
  3. What are my lab test results, including my glomerular filtration rate (GFR)?
  4. What treatment is available for my symptoms?
  5. What are the next steps?
  6. What can I do to keep my kidneys from becoming more damaged?
  7. Will I eventually need dialysis or a kidney transplant? If so, what is the timeline?

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