Talking to Your Doctor About Kidney Disease

doctor with arms folded around chestAre You At Risk For Kidney Disease?

  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Did your mother, father, sister, or brother ever have kidney disease or
    failure?
  • Has a doctor ever told you that you had protein in your urine?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are at risk for kidney
disease. Now is the time to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about
getting tested. It could save your life.

What To Ask Your Doctor Or Healthcare Professional

  • Based on my medical and family history, am I at risk for kidney disease?
  • Would lowering my blood pressure help reduce my risk of developing kidney
    disease?
  • Do my blood and urine tests show signs of kidney disease?
  • How can I prevent or control kidney disease?

Tips For Talking With Your Doctor Or Healthcare Professional

  • Know as much as you can about your family’s medical history.
  • Write down the answers you get and ask more questions if you need to.
  • Bring someone else with you for support and to help you remember what you
    learn.

Steps To Protect Your Kidneys

  1. Control your blood pressure and diabetes.
  2. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional to test your blood and urine for
    kidney disease.
  3. If these tests show kidney disease, special medicines called ACE- Inhibitors
    or ARBs can help. Talk to your doctor about these medications.

Stop A Disease That Comes Without Warning

Early kidney disease is a silent problem, like high blood pressure. Kidney
disease can become kidney failure with little or no warning, and is usually
discovered right before the kidneys fail.

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family member with kidney
failure, a doctor or healthcare professional should test your blood and urine
for early signs of kidney disease. You can take steps to keep your kidneys
working if the tests show kidney disease.

Learn More About Kidney Disease

NKDEP provides free educational materials and resources for patients and
their families.

National Kidney Disease Education Program
3 Kidney Information
Way
Bethesda, MD 20892
1-866-4-KIDNEY (1-866-454-3639)
January 2003

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
(NKUDIC)

3 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892
1-800-891-5390
kidney.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm

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