Anemia is a medical condition, characterized by low hemoglobin (Hgb) and hematocrit (Hct), that makes you feel weak, cold, tired, and short of breath. These symptoms are caused by a lack of oxygen carried by red blood cells to all parts of your body. Anemia is a common complication of kidney failure. This is because healthy kidneys produce a hormone known as erythropoeitin (EPO), which is carried in the blood to the bone marrow where it stimulates the production of red blood cells.
Diseased kidneys may fail to produce enough natural EPO, leading to anemia. This condition can be treated with a synthetic form of EPO.
"I was tired, sleepy and lethargic, and then the nurses told me that I was anemic, I was given Iron tablets and then I started on an injection called EPO." - Claire Strover, kidney patient
May 1, 2006