What to Expect at Your First Nephrologist Appointment
Your first visit to a kidney doctor will mostly focus on assessing your health history, your current health, and learning about your health goals. A nephrologist needs to understand your health history, as chronic kidney disease (CKD) and other kidney complications can be influenced by your health history. For example, past health complications, like having had a stroke, may be a sign you have CKD.
Additionally, your kidney specialist may also do the following during your first visit:
Ask About Your Diet
If you’re struggling with your kidney health, one thing your kidney doctor will most likely assess during your first visit is your diet. Your kidney specialist may recommend a kidney-focused diet, such as the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension).
The DASH diet provides your body and kidneys with foods full of essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and low fat and sodium. You might be nervous about being prescribed a diet, as food can be one of life’s great comforts. However, the DASH diet isn’t like the countless dietary fads you hear of; it allows for a great deal of flexibility and won’t significantly limit the diversity of foods you can enjoy.
Ask About Your Water Intake
Water is essential for your kidney health, just like consuming the right foods and nutrients are. That’s because water is responsible for removing waste from your body via the kidneys and delivering those crucial nutrients to the rest of your body.
During your first visit to a nephrologist, your kidney specialist may ask about how much water you typically consume and might ask to take a urine sample. Urine samples can help assess how hydrated you are or how your kidneys are currently functioning.
Perform a Renal Ultrasound
A renal ultrasound is a non-invasive type of medical imaging. A renal ultrasound can reveal things like abnormal swelling in the kidneys, kidney stones, or other medical complications such as cysts, infections, or cancer.
There are other kinds of medical imaging that your kidney specialist might recommend, such as a CT scan or antegrade pyelogram. However, if imaging is required, an ultrasound is the most likely to be used during your first visit to a nephrologist.
Why See a Nephrologist?
Before your first nephrologist visit, you may wonder if you’re seeing one for the right reasons. In truth, you don’t need a reason to see a nephrologist. 90% of people with CKD don’t even know they have it, and by the time symptoms begin to show, CKD may have progressed. If you’re concerned about your kidney health for any reason, whether you have symptoms or not, go ahead and schedule an appointment with a nephrologist.
However, you may have health concerns that a nephrologist can help diagnose and treat. Symptoms like the following are good reasons to see a nephrologist:
Get the Answers You Need From Kidney Specialists in the Milwaukee Area
Getting answers to your questions about your kidney health can be scary, but gaining the knowledge to improve your kidney health can be liberating. Milwaukee Nephrologists and our team of kidney specialists understand the concerns each patient may have, and we’re dedicated to finding the best treatment solution based on each person’s specific needs.
To schedule your first visit with the greater Milwaukee area’s trusted nephrologists, contact Milwaukee Nephrologists today.