The Patients’ Family


You are an important part of the care team. Kidney disease affects everyone, and everyone can be a part of the treatment. If one of your loved ones has been diagnosed with kidney disease, then this article is just for you. First you may not know how to best support your family member or friend. It may be important for you to first educate yourself on their condition, and any at home changes that should be made. Second you may find yourself wanting to attend physician visits with them and ask questions. Thirdly you will want to know what emergent situations look like so that you can spot them. This can help get them into a doctor’s appointment or hospital before a bigger problem arises.

  • Supporting your loved one at home:
    Diet and lifestyle changes may be the first thing on the list that a nephrologist will recommend. You need to understand the adverse effects they have on your kidney disease patient. If you know what stag of kidney disease they are in, medications they may need to take, and expectations from their doctor, you can truly help support the treatment process.

  • Attending Physician visits:
    If your loved one is struggling to perform daily activities such as driving or has a hard time remembering what happened during their doctors’ visits, you may consider coming along. Sometimes having a second pair of eyes, ears and hands is necessary and your assistance is always welcome.

  • Emergent warning signs:
    Emergencies can happen quick. Maybe your loved one isn’t good at letting you know when they aren’t feeling their best, or they choose to ignore it. Extreme fatigue, swelling, urinary issues, pain, loss of hunger, or discolored urine, should not be ignored. Quick action can be vital in the preservation of kidney function. If you think there is an emergency call the office or go to the nearest emergency room.

Here at Iowa Kidney Physicians we recognize the challenges you may face as a loved one. We are here to offer support. There are many great published support guides designed just for you. Please visit for many great family resources.