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Fatigue: A Common Symptom in CKD

Fatigue is a common symptom in chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, fatigue often goes untreated, especially in people with stage 3~4 CKD. As a result, many CKD patients develop end stage renal disease in a weakened state, and are at increased risk for serious complications. Additionally, persistent fatigue can affect their life remarkably.

Many CKD patients have to quit their job due to persistent fatigue. Some studies show that about 8/9 CKD patients who quit their jobs due to server fatigue and loss of energy. Chronic fatigue also can interfere with their quality of life. The CKD patients have less ability to exercise and participate in social activities.

Fatigue in CKD is mainly due to anemia. In healthy people, the kidneys can make erythropoietin (EPO) that helps body make red blood cells. When the kidneys are less efficient to work, they produce less EPO. Red blood cells can distribute oxygen to body cells and tissues. If fewer red blood cells are produced, less oxygen supply can make the patients feel tired. Besides extreme fatigue, untreated fatigue can cause heart damage.

How is anemia in CKD treated effectively?

EPO is often prescribed to people. It is just like the natural hormone in body which can stimulate the production of red blood cells. Additionally, iron pills can often be given to treat mild anemia.

Staying active is key to good health and relieve anemia. The patients are recommended to do moderate exercise. It can help improve energy effectively.

Anemia is only a symptom of CKD. Therefore, to control the condition effectively, you should treat kidney as a whole. If the kidneys can improve the secretion function and produce more EPO, the anemia will be controlled effectively and completely.

  • Tag: CKD symptoms
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