In What Way Does Renal Insufficiency Cause Anemia?


Quick Answer

Renal insufficiency is a type of chronic kidney disease that damages the kidneys' ability to produce erythropoietin, a hormone that signals the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, according to The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The resulting lack of red blood cells is a type of anemia.

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Other common reasons for anemia in people with kidney disease include blood loss during dialysis and low levels of dietary iron, vitamin B-12 or folic acid, states NKUDIC. Treatments for anemia caused by renal insufficiency include iron supplementation, vitamin B-12 supplements, folic acid supplements, artificial erythropoietin and red blood cell transfusions. Dietary changes can help with anemia and other effects of renal insufficiency.

Heart problems can arise from anemia related to renal insufficiency, including an irregular heartbeat, a very fast heartbeat, enlargement of the heart, and an inability of the heart to pump enough blood to the body, according to NKUDIC. The lack of red blood cells means that the body cannot get enough oxygen to its cells and tissues. Anemia can produce several symptoms including weakness, fatigue, concentration problems, headaches, dizziness, paleness, shortness of breath and chest pain. Any difficulty breathing or chest pain warrants immediate medical attention.

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