The following questions can help you talk to your physician about your individual risk for renal (kidney) artery disease (RAS). Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.
- Based on my family history, am I at greater risk for RAS?
- Based on my personal history, am I at greater risk for RAS?
- Does high blood pressure increase my risk of having RAS?
- Does diabetes increase my risk of having RAS?
- Do my cholesterol levels put me at risk for RAS?
- Is my weight within a healthy range to prevent RAS?
- Can you help me quit smoking? (If you smoke.)
- Is my blood pressure within the normal range? Can you help me control high blood pressure?
- What dietary choices should I be making for cardiovascular health?
- What level of exercise is safe for me and will also have cardiovascular benefits?
If You Have Been Diagnosed with RAS
If you have been diagnosed with RAS, it is normal to be worried and to want as much information about the disease and treatment as possible. It can be a particularly difficult time for patients who have experienced a serious cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. The following questions can lay the groundwork for a discussion between you and your physician.
- What additional tests may I need?
- What are my treatment options? What combination of lifestyle, medication, and in-hospital treatments/surgery may be necessary to combat the disease?
- What is my prognosis? What are the likely outcomes?
- How will RAS affect my quality of life? What can I do to improve my quality of life?
- Will I need dialysis?
- Will RAS affect my ability to urinate?
- Does having RAS mean I’ll suffer from incontinence?
- What happens after treatment? If treatment involves recovery, how long will that take?
- What follow-up will be necessary?
You can print a copy of this list here. (PDF version)