It can be a very daunting experience when it comes to appointments with your renal consultant or GP, especially when it comes to wanting to get the most out of your appointment. Below are some pre-planned example questions that are grouped into categories that may be of help for your next appointment, they may even help you think of some other questions. If you have queries following your appointment, you can also call the National Kidney Federation’s free national helpline on: 0800 169 09 36.The below questions are available to download and print by clicking the PDF links below.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?Kidney disease is a term used by doctors to include any abnormality of the kidneys, even if there is only very slight damage. ‘Chronic’ means a condition that does not get completely better. Some people think that ‘chronic’ means severe. This is not the case, and often CKD isonly a very slight abnormality in the kidneys.How common is kidney disease?Research suggests that 1 in 10 of the population may have CKD, but it is less common in young adults, being present in 1 in 50 people. In those aged over 75 years, CKD is present in 1 out of 2 people.How does someone know if they have CKD?In most cases CKD does not cause any symptoms, and is detected because tests are abnormal. These may be urine tests for blood or protein; an X-ray or scan of the kidneys; or a blood test to measure kidney function.How is my kidney function measured – eGFR?A test called the (estimated glomerular filtration rate) is used to measure kidney function. The eGFR is calculated by the laboratory from the level of a chemical called creatinine in the blood.What are the stages of CKD?CKD is divided into 5 stages:-
What is the treatment for CKD?There is no cure for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and stop it getting worse. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your CKD.
The main treatments include:
What if the kidney function keeps getting worse?In people with declining kidney function, a treatment plan should be made with a kidney specialist team well before CKD stage 5 is reached. There are also several books and other aids that give information and help make a decision about the best treatment. For more information and support visit the NKF website.Can I lead a normal life with CKD?Most people with CKD should be able to lead normal lives. CKD does not normally run in families and routine family screening is not necessary if one person is affected. However, some specific types of kidney disease do run in families, and people should check with their health care team to see if testing of family members is needed.What is a kidney specialist?A kidney specialist is called a Nephrologist. A Nephrologist diagnoses and treat diseases of the kidneys.
Where can I get extra support, help and advice?The National Kidney Federation has a large library of patient information leaflets and information packs. NKF information is written and reviewed by nephrologists in simple language for patients and carers. They also run the UK’s only Patient Helpline which is open Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm where you can talk to their two fully trained advisors.
For more support from the NKF call the helpline on 0800169 0936 or browse our helpline resources section of the website.
Download these questions as a PDF here
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR GP
QUESTIONS TO ASK ON YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A NEPHROLOGIST
DISCUSSING ABNORMAL KIDNEY BLOOD TEST RESULTS
OTHER SAMPLE QUESTIONS