why do people with kidney disease suffer from anemia


Anemia is a condition that can occur on its own or as a symptom of many other serious medical issues. It involves having fewer red blood cells than normal in the body, which is problematic because red blood cells carry oxygen to organs and tissues so they can utilize energy and function properly. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients commonly experience anemia, and their anemia often gets worse as CKD progresses. It is very common for individuals who have a full loss of kidney function or kidney failure to be diagnosed with anemia. This article will explore the connection between anemia and chronic kidney disease to help patients find the proper diagnosis and treatment for their symptoms. Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are about the size of oneБs fist. They are located on both sides of the spine, below the rib cage, and their job is to filter blood to produce urine. From the kidneys, urine flows to the bladder through the ureters, where urine is stored until a signal is sent to the brain telling it to use the restroom. Kidneys are vital to human functioning because they prevent the build-up of bodily waste and excess fluid, as well as keeping electrolyte levels stable. The kidneys also produce hormones that make red blood cells, strengthen bones, and regulate blood pressure. In the human body, the kidneys produce erythropoietin (EPO), which is a hormone that enables bone marrow to create red blood cells. But when an individual has severe kidney dysfunction, this hormone is not produced and red blood cells are not created. People with kidney disease have low EPO levels, which cause red blood cell counts to drop and anemia to occur. People who have kidney disease may also develop anemia because of losing blood during hemodialysis. These individuals may also not be getting key nutrients, like iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, through meals that their bodies need. A kidney disease patient who is experiencing weakness, fatigue, or headaches may be exhibiting signs of anemia.


Other anemia symptoms to watch out for include concentration problems, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Due to the onset of anemia, it is possible for kidney disease patients to develop an irregular heartbeat during exercise, an unnatural enlargement of the heart muscles, or even heart failure. Blood tests are typically necessary to diagnose anemia, along with a physical exam and review of oneБs full medical history. A complete blood count measures the number of blood cells in the body. But it may also be necessary to check an individualБs ferritin level to determine the amount of iron that the body is storing, as well as the transferrin saturation score to see how much iron is available to make red blood cells. High-potency iron supplements like are commonly used to treat anemia in kidney disease patients in order to boost their iron levels and improve hemoglobin levels. In severe cases, supplemental iron may be more effective when administered intravenously. To learn more about why iron can help patients with treat kidney disease, read the article, Б. Б
What causes anemia? Anemia happens when there are not enough red blood cells in your body. Red blood cells carry oxygen through your bloodstream, giving you energy and helping your muscles, bones, and organs work properly. Anemia can make you feel weak and tired because you are not getting the energy you need. How does chronic kidney disease (CKD) cause anemia? Anybody can develop anemia, but it is very common in people with CKD. People with CKD may start to have anemia in the early stages of CKD, and anemia usually gets worse as CKD gets worse. If your kidneys are not working as well as they should, you are more likely to get anemia. If you think you might be at risk, about getting tested. Management of anemia and its symptoms may help you feel better. What are the symptoms of anemia? Anemia can happen with or without symptoms.


Many of the symptoms of anemia can also be caused by other problems. The only way be sure if you have anemia is to get tested. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important that you talk to your doctor. All of the cells in your body live for a certain amount of time and then die. Your body is always working to make new cells to replace the ones that have died. Red blood cells live for about 115 days. Your kidneys help your body make red blood cells. Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). EPO sends a signal to the body to make more red blood cells. If your kidneys are not working as well as they should, they can t make enough EPO. Without enough EPO, your body doesn t know to make enough red blood cells. This means fewer red blood cells are available for carrying oxygen through your body. Iron is a mineral found in many foods, such as meats and leafy greens. Your body uses iron to make red blood cells. A common cause of anemia in people with CKD is iron deficiency. Iron deficiency means you do not have enough iron in your body. It can be caused by not getting enough iron in your diet or by losing blood, either through blood tests or during dialysis. If you don t take in enough iron through your diet, you can get anemia. Around half of people with CKD stages 2 to 5 have some kind of iron deficiency. There are several kinds of anemia. Anemia caused by having too little EPO or too little iron in your body are the most common in people with CKD. Talk to your doctor to learn more. How will I know if I have anemia? Talk to your doctor if you think you may have anemia. The only way to know if you have anemia is to have a blood test. When you have kidney disease, your doctor will want you to have blood tests often. These tests are used to check not only your kidney function, but also for signs of any other problems, such as the number of red blood cells and how much iron you have in your body.


The test for anemia is a simple blood test to check for the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells. Figuring out the amount of hemoglobin you have in your blood can tell your doctor how many red blood cells you have. Your doctor may also ask you if you ve noticed any symptoms, such as changes in skin color or feeling unusually tired. How is anemia treated? Getting your anemia treated can help you feel better. Depending on the cause of your anemia, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments: Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) ESAs are medicines that work by sending a signal to the your body to make more red blood cells. Iron supplements Your doctor may give you iron supplements as pills or as a shot. If you are on dialysis, you may be given an iron supplement during your dialysis treatment. Red blood cell transfusion A red blood cell transfusion is a procedure to increase the number of red blood cells in your body by giving you red blood cells from someone else s body through an IV. This can temporarily improve your anemia symptoms. Doctors and researchers are working on potential new treatments for anemia. New treatments in development are tested in clinical trials. If you re interested in joining a clinical trial to try an investigational new treatment for anemia, visit ClinicalTrials. gov to learn about or. If you have CKD, getting early treatment for your anemia can help slow the progress of your CKD. If you think you might have anemia, talk to your doctor about getting tested. , also known as kidney failure, often go hand in hand. Most people with kidney failure who are on dialysis have anemia. Kidney transplant patients are also at higher risk for anemia. The ACT on Anemia campaign is helping health care professionals have conversations with their patients about the link between chronic kidney disease and anemia. Here are some resources for you and your patients:

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