How is Anemia Measured?
- A blood test called Hemoglobin is done at least monthly for patients on dialysis. This test measures the percent of red blood cells in your body.
What Causes Anemia?
- Red blood cells are made deep inside your bones where it is soft. This center part of the bone is like a factory. Normal, healthy kidneys send a hormone to the factory when more red blood cells need to be made.
- When your kidneys fail, not as much of this hormone is made. Then your bone factory slows down or actually stops.
How is Anemia Treated?
- If your red blood cell count is too low, your doctor may prescribe a man-made hormone called Erythropoietin that can be given during dialysis. Erythropoietin works just like the hormone made by healthy kidneys to let the bone factory know to make more red blood cells.
- If your blood count is too low, and does not improve with Erythropoietin, your doctor will guide you.
Why is Controlling Anemia Important to Me?
- People who are anemic feel tired and have less energy to do the things they enjoy. If the cells in your brain don’t have enough oxygen, you may not think clearly.