Commonly Asked Questions About CKD to Ask Your Nephrologist (Kidney Doctor)

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Chronic kidney disease is a complex condition that requires as much knowledge as possible for those suffering from it. Without a proper understanding of the illness, it can be difficult to develop an effective treatment plan. And that starts with asking your nephrologist (kidney doctor) the right questions.

The following are some commonly asked questions about CKD to ask your nephrologist.

In the Early Stages of CKD

If you’ve just found out you have CKD, then there are a few things you should know and kidney questions you should ask:

What can I do to reduce my risk of developing further complications?

Oftentimes, lifestyle changes such as reducing sodium intake, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol can significantly reduce the risk of complications. But because different lifestyles require different precautions, it’s always best to check with kidney doctors to confirm what’s right for you.

What are the signs and symptoms to look out for?

Common signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Frequent urination at night
  • Swelling of the face, ankles, or feet
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

What causes chronic kidney disease?

The exact cause of CKD can be difficult to determine. It can be due to a variety of reasons, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and urinary tract infections. Additionally, some people may have a genetic condition that affects their kidneys.

Do I need to take any tests?

Your doctor may want you to undergo some additional tests for further analysis that can include a urinalysis, CT scan, or ultrasound to examine your kidneys and find out more information about your condition.

In the Later Stages of CKD

If you’ve been living with CKD for a while, there are some kidney questions you can ask your nephrologist so that you know what to expect:

What conditions should I monitor?

Kidney doctors will be able to advise you on how often you need to have certain tests done to monitor your condition and make sure it’s not progressing too quickly. But generally, common tests include blood pressure readings and monitoring of your creatinine and potassium levels.

What should I expect during stage 5?

At this stage, your kidneys cannot adequately filter out toxins and waste products from the blood. This can lead to a buildup of these toxins in the body, which can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, and even seizures. Your doctor will be able to explain what treatment options are available to help you manage this stage effectively.

What can I do to keep my kidneys working as long as possible?

A healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet and avoiding smoking and alcohol can go a long way in helping keep your kidneys functioning properly for longer. Additionally, speaking with kidney doctors about the medications you are taking and if they may be contributing to your CKD can help.

Your treatment plan is specifically catered to you so these kidney questions will help you stay aware of your individualized care.

How can I manage side effects?

Some common CKD side effects include fatigue, anemia, and hypertension. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you manage these symptoms, but certain lifestyle changes such as reducing sodium intake and getting adequate rest can also aid in managing them. Additional supplements may also be recommended for optimal health.

Consult a Kidney Doctor for Your CKD at Texas Kidney Institute

Understanding your chronic kidney disease is the first step to managing it effectively and that starts with asking questions. At Texas Kidney Institute, our team of experts are available to answer any kidney questions you may have and provide you with the care and resources you need.

Speaking to qualified nephrologists (kidney doctors) is the best way to gain an understanding of your condition and what steps you can take to better manage it. Contact us today and we can help you find the best treatment plan for your needs!