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Renal Anemia Due to Chronic Kidney Disease

Anemia is a condition in which the body has fewer red blood cells. For people with chronic kidney disease, renal anemia is an adverse indicator and may cause other severe complications such as dizziness and fatigue. Therefore, treating renal anemia timely can help slow the progression of kidney disease.

How does kidney disease cause renal anemia?

Normally, healthy kidneys secrete enough erythropoietin (EPO), so as to tell the body produces red blood cells. Then, these cells carry oxygen and blood from the lungs to supply all the body’s needs and meet the need of our daily activities. However, damaged kidneys can’t secrete enough EPO that decreases the number of red blood cells.

Besides, iron deficiency is also a reason of anemia for people with chronic kidney disease. It may be absolute, often due to poor dietary intake or sometimes as a consequence of bleeding or an imbalance between the iron requirements of the erythroid marrow and the actual iron supply.

Investigations for anemia due to chronic kidney disease

Investigations are needed when patients’ hemoglobin level is lower than 11g/dl, or some symptoms of renal anemia appear, such as tiredness or breathlessness. If you also have this healthy problem, you may need to do the following tests:

● eGFR, renal function and electrolyte

● Thyroid function tests

● Renal ultrasound

● Blood tests

● Blood film

According to patients’ condition, doctors will determine which test is needed to do.

How to manage anemia in chronic kidney disease?

For people whose anemia is associated with iron or folate deficiency, this disorder should be corrected before treatment and monitored during the whole therapy. Foods what we eat can be a great source of iron or folate supplement.

Additionally, treatment with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents should be considered for patients with anemia and kidney disease. However, the dose must depend on patients’ individual condition.

The last point I want to note is that kidney repair treatment is also very important. Only if patients’ kidneys can secrete EPO normally can they get rid of anemia completely.