Symptoms of Anaemia include the following:-

  • Tiredness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Less able to excercise
  • Possible breathlessness

Anaemia is diagnosed by measuring the haemoglobin content of your blood. Your red blood cells are partly made up of haemoglobin which contains iron. If your body isn’t making enough red blood cells your haemoglobin level will be low and your iron level will also be low.

Causes of Anaemia

Normal, healthy kidneys produce plenty of erythropoietin (EPO) which continually triggers the bone marrow to make red blood cells. With kidney failure the production of red blood cells is reduced. As a result you become anaemic.

Other Causes of Anaemia can include :-

  • Blood loss during haemodialysis
  • Iron deficiency
  • Lifespan of red blood cells shorter than normal
  • Gastritis

In the short term Anaemia can be treated by giving a blood transfusion but the beneficial effect is not long lasting.

The best long term solution is in giving Human EPO (Recombinant Human Erythropoietin). EPO will gradually bring your haemoglobin levels up and once the desired level has been achieved it will be kept there.

Human EPO does the same job as your own kidneys and triggers the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Your consultant at the Renal Unit will decide if you need EPO. Your haemoglobin level and general health will be taken into account. A full blood count is carried out before embarking on EPO.

EPO is given by injection and you will be taught by a nurse how to inject yourself. It is a simple procedure and patients will be supplied with EPO in ready made up syringes with the exact dose worked out for you.