What causes Anemia of CKD?

Anemia of CKD can be caused by many factors. One common cause occurs when your kidneys produce less erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that tells your body to make red blood cells. Low levels of EPO decrease red blood cell production and can lead to anemia.

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What is the impact of Anemia of CKD?

When your Hgb levels are low, your body must work with less oxygen, which can put a strain on vital organs like your heart and brain. If you have questions about how Anemia of CKD can affect you, talk to your doctor and visit our resources page to learn more.


Why is it important to treat Anemia of CKD?

Treating Anemia of CKD can help your body make more red blood cells. It also can help reduce the need for blood transfusions.

This is important because getting blood transfusions may decrease your chances of qualifying for a kidney transplant.

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What are potential treatment options?

It's important to talk with your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms of Anemia of CKD.

Your doctor may first treat any underlying conditions that may be causing the anemia, such as an iron or vitamin deficiency.

These treatment options may include:

  • iron supplements taken as a pill or an intravenous infusion
  • vitamins like B12 or folate
  • an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) taken as an intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection
  • hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF PH) inhibitor for adult patients who are on dialysis for at least 4 months. Taken as a once-daily pill(s) 
  • a red blood cell transfusion delivered as an intravenous infusion for emergency treatment of anemia

Your doctor may also recommend changes to your nutrition and/or refer you to talk with a dietitian to make a nutrition plan.