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Anemia from Chronic Kidney Disease

Anemia:  Anemia is a very common disorder among Chronic Kidney Disease patients.  The symptoms of anemia are fatigue, tiredness, pale skin, and weakness.  Anemia can lead to these symptoms; however it can seriously affect your heart by making it work harder.  The heart works harder because of anemia, high blood pressure, and other conditions, this increased work load causes the heart to adapt by enlarging.  This adaption is not good for your body and increases your risk for heart disease.   Anemia is diagnosed by symptoms and measuring your blood counts.  The specific test that is ordered is a Hemoglobin and Hematocrit. When these are tests are low, you are diagnosed with anemia.  InChronic Kidney Disease patients there are several reasons to have anemia.

To better understand the reasons, the following is a brief discussion on how red blood cells are made.  Bone marrow has to go through a complex process to produce red blood cells.  The essential ingredient in producing a red blood cell is hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout your body.  This process requires Iron, Erythropoietin, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals. These are the building blocks to provide production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.  Patients with anemia secondary to Chronic Kidney Disease are prescribed erythropoietin (EPO) and/or Aranesp, and iron.  Treatment of your anemia improves your heart function, tiredness, and general well being. Please ask your doctor for further explanation about the symptoms and the benefits of treating your anemia.  If you suspect that you have anemia or symptoms related to anemia, please schedule an appointment with a doctor at the Kidney and Hypertension Institute of Utah.