What is Anemia?
What is Anemia and Why Am I Tired?
Reprinted with permission from DaVita, Inc.
Someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may also have anemia, a condition that results when red blood cell levels fall below normal ranges. A major factor in the development of anemia for those with CKD is the diseased kidneys' inability to produce erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone which stimulates the production of red blood cells in your bones. Anemia is a condition that can be diagnosed and treated.
To understand anemia, it's important to understand how your blood cells function. Your body contains two types of blood cells: white and red. White blood cells help fight infection, while red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin, which combines with the oxygen and releases it to your tissues. When your body is low in red blood cells and hemoglobin, you're said to be anemic. Because of the lack of oxygen in your bloodstream, you may find that you feel very tired.
How does kidney disease contribute to anemia?
There is a link between kidney disease and anemia. Red blood cells are made in your bone marrow. When your kidneys are functioning properly, they release the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which in turn stimulates the bones to make red blood cells. However, when you have chronic kidney disease, your kidneys may not be able to produce a normal amount of EPO, and anemia results. As your kidney function declines, you may slowly develop anemia and not even be aware of it. This occurs at different times for different people, but once you reach Stage 3 of chronic kidney disease, you are likely to experience some degree of anemia.
The other contributing factor to developing anemia is a lack of iron.
Symptoms of Anemia
Some of the symptoms of anemia are as follows:
- Looking pale or "washed out"
- Tiring easily
- Heart palpitations (racing heart)
- Shortness of breath
- Hair loss
- A general sick feeling or sluggishness
Broccoli and Potato Soup Creamy Pesto Sauce Tenderloin Mexicana steak Red, White, and Blueberry Parfaits Moroccan Vegetable Soup Clam and Basil Soup Crispy "Fried" Veggies Edamame with Scallions and Sesame Oil Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake Spicy Bean Dip
What a weird disease. It’s not enough that unregulated glucose spits like a sprinkler from his liver at all hours of the night making it impossible to get a handle on things. It’s not enough that the same food he eats one day has a completely opposite effect the next. It’s not enough that we’re at the mercy of biological factors we can’t even begin to fathom yet we continue to believe one of these days we’ll finally solve this mother of...