Anemia of Chronic Kidney Disease
Kidney disease often leads to anemia Anemia is a below normal level of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen to tissue in your body. Anemia means your body is not making enough red blood cells. Anemia can occur at any stage of kidney disease but your risk of developing anemia increases as kidney disease worsens. This occurs because the kidney normally secrete a glycoprotein called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin stimulates cells to form into red blood cells. In the setting of kidney disease the kidney may not produce enough erythropoietin which leads to less red blood cell production and anemia. Patients with mild anemia may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. More severe anemia can lead to fatigue (feeling tired), shortness or breath, headaches, or feeling cold. Other factors that can lead to anemia in kidney disease include iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, effects of poor nutrition or inflammation. Depending on your level of anemia your kidney doctor may recommend medication (erythropoiesis-stimulating agents), iron supplements, vitamin supplements or iron-rich diet.