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Kidney Disease - How It Is Related With Anaemia?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Gireesh Reddy 91% (60ratings)
Interventional Nephrology, DM - Nephrology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Bangalore  •  14years experience
Kidney Disease - How It Is Related With Anaemia?

A healthy kidney produces a hormone known as the erythropoietin. The latter assists the bone marrow to produce an adequate amount of RBC that carries oxygen to every nook and corner of the body. A damaged kidney results in less RBC production, thereby, creating a condition known as anaemia. The hemoglobin count in the blood reduces significantly in this condition.

Anaemia is characterized by shortness of breath, weakness and tiredness. It can affect sleep and a loss of appetite. A patient suffering from anaemia reports of frequent headaches and a faster heart rate. These symptoms also surface when a person suffers from chronic kidney diseases (CKD). The condition gets worse as the disease progresses.

Treating anaemia:
A patient suffering from anaemia should be treated on time as there are many pitfalls of a lower hemoglobin level. The treatment will give instant relief from other symptoms that might have arrived with CKD. Doctors frequently prescribe Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agent (ESA) for patients suffering from CKD and suffering from anaemia due to the shortage of erythropoietin. ESAs can be injected through an injection or intravenously. These injections stimulate the bone marrow to produce more RBCs. However, studies have revealed that ESAs increase the chance of strokes, heart attacks and blood clots. Furthermore, they aggravate tumor growth and shorten life expectancy for cancer patients. People undergoing ESA treatment should have periodic check-ups to ensure that the hemoglobin count is normal and under control.

Iron
Iron count in the body has an important role in treating patients suffering from anaemia and CKD. In case the level of iron is too low in the body, ESAs fail to improve the condition of an anaemic patient. The ferritin count of a patient should be in the range of 100-800 mcg/L. One more test known as TSAT reveals the number of iron required to produce RBCs in the body. In case the iron count is less, doctors often suggest iron pills to bring the count to a more accepted level.

Other causes
There could be other reasons for anaemia as well. A doctor might further investigate the level of B12 and folic acid present in the body. Even an inflammatory condition can lead to anaemia. A decreased count of any of the above mentioned ingredients can cause anaemia to a patient suffering from EKD.

Food items necessary to improve the condition
A healthy diet helps in improving the condition of an anaemic patient. Iron deficiency is best addressed by fish and beef. Food rich in vitamin C helps the body to absorb more iron in the body. Certain food items that block the entry of iron in the body include tea, milk, albumen (egg white) etc. Therefore, you should be strictly avoid these items from your diet.

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