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by Shannon DW

Talking to Your Doctor About Chronic Kidney Disease

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with chronic kidney disease (CKD). By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About CKD
  • Do I have any signs of CKD?
  • If so, how severe and what stage is it?
  • Do I have any signs of other health problems, such as high blood pressure or anemia?
  • What caused my CKD?
About Your Risk of Getting CKD
  • What is the chance I will get CKD?
  • Should I be screened for CKD?
  • Should people in my family be screened?
  • How can I lower my risk of CKD?
About Treatment Options
  • What treatments are right for me?
  • What medicines may help?
    • What are the benefits or side effects of these medicines?
    • Will these medicines interact with the medicines, over the counter products, or supplements that I take?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • What is my long-term outlook for:
    • Work?
    • Daily living activities?
    • Physical activity and exercise?
  • How will this affect my family?
  • Are there any dietary changes I should make? Where do I start?
  • Should I start an exercise program?
    • What kind of exercise is best?
    • How often should I exercise?
    • How do I get started?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
  • How can I get help to quit smoking?
About Outlook
  • Can you refer me to support groups for me and my family?
  • How will I know that my treatment is working?
  • What is my outlook?
  • How often will I need check-ups?


Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed April 7, 2022.
Overview of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/overview-of-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-in-adults. Accessed April 6, 2022.

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