Your kidney produces a hormone, erythrypoietin (EPO) that helps stimulate the production of blood. Not producing enough of this hormone may decrease your body’s ability to produce red blood cells that help carry oxygen to the rest of your body. As your kidney function declines, your kidney’s ability to produce this hormone may also decline and may worsen anemia. Some of the symptoms of anemia may include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath.
Treating anemia is an important part of improving the quality of life in chronic kidney disease. There are other potential causes for anemia that your kidney doctor may also check for such as iron deficiency and vitamin deficiency, which may need to be treated first before any EPO shots are started. Your doctor will determine when the best time is to start treatment.