When kidneys are not fully functioning, the production of red blood cells can decline and cause anemia in many kidney patients. A major cause of this anemia is iron deficiency. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, there are more than 1.6 million kidney patients in the United States living with iron deficiency anemia, commonly referred to as IDA.
Side-Effects of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)
Unfortunately, IDA often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and is, therefore, left untreated, which leaves patients living with the chronic symptoms of anemia. Deficiency symptoms such as extreme tiredness, dizziness, headaches, coldness in hands and feet, shortness of breath and frequent infections inhibit one's quality of life.
Most kidney patients with IDA will be prescribed oral iron. However, because many patients with kidney complications have reduced iron absorption due to inflammation, treatment guidelines recommend that oral iron is given for one to three months, and if the patients anemia does not resolve, that they move the patient to IV iron.
What Can You Do Personally?
Individuals with kidney disease should protect themselves by having their iron checked regularly. If diagnosed, one should talk to their doctor who can organize a treatment option that is best for the individual. Also, utilize KidneyBuzz.com to remain informed about IDA and other health challenges associated with kidney disease.