Anemia of Chronic Kidney Disease

A common complication of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the development of a condition called anemia.  Anemia occurs when the body can no longer produce enough healthy red blood cells to successfully transport oxygen throughout the body.  Although anemia can develop from a variety of causes, it is likely to occur from CKD, as the kidneys are responsible for producing the hormone, erythropoietin (EPO), which tells bone marrow how many red blood cells to produce.  When the kidneys are not functioning normally, they risk yielding too little EPO, which, in turn, yields too few red blood cells required for carrying oxygen across the body, in order to thoroughly oxygenate the tissues and organs.  Though anemia is oftentimes asymptomatic, when symptoms are present, they usually include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping