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Chronic Kidney Disease

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When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services if you have chronic kidney disease and you develop:

  • A very slow heart rate (less than 50 beats a minute).
  • A very rapid heart rate (more than 120 beats a minute).
  • Chest pain or severe shortness of breath.
  • Severe muscle weakness.

To check your heart rate, see the instructions for taking a pulse slideshow.gif.

Call your doctor immediately if you:

Call your doctor if you:

  • Are feeling more tired or weak.
  • Have swelling of the arms or feet.
  • Bruise often or easily or have unusual bleeding.
  • Are being treated with dialysis and you:
    • Have belly pain while you are being treated with peritoneal dialysis.
    • Have signs of infection at your catheter or dialysis access site, such as pus draining from the area.
    • Have any other problem that your dialysis instruction manual or nurse's instructions say you should call about.

If you have uncontrolled weight loss, discuss this with your doctor during your next visit.

Watchful waiting

A wait-and-see approach is not a good idea if you could have chronic kidney disease. See your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, follow your treatment plan. And call your doctor if you notice any new symptoms.

Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnose and treat chronic kidney disease include:

If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you will likely be referred to a nephrologist for treatment.

You may also be referred to a:

  • Surgeon, if you need a dialysis access site or if you are being considered for a kidney transplant.
  • Dietitian, who can help you with meal planning and choosing foods that are best for people with this disease.
  • Psychologist or social worker, who can help you and your family with emotional stress or financial issues.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 29, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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