Anemia and kidney failure

Anaemia is a condition in which the body has fewer red blood cells than normal. Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues and organs throughout the body and enable them to use energy from food. With anaemia, red blood cells carry less oxygen to tissues and organs—particularly the heart and brain—and those tissues and organs may not function as well as they should. Anaemia commonly occurs in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD)—the permanent, partial loss of kidney function. Anaemia might begin to develop in the early stages of CKD, when someone has 20 to 50% of normal kidney function. Anaemia tends to worsen as CKD progresses. Most people who have total loss of kidney function, or kidney failure, have anaemia. A person has kidney failure when he or she needs a kidney transplant or dialysis to live. Some of the symptoms include the following.

  • fatigue, or feeling tired
  • headaches
  • problems with concentration
  • paleness
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain

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