Anaemia: I have had stage 3b kidney disease... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
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I have had stage 3b kidney disease for many years eGFR stable around 38. my last blood test has showed " borderline normocytic anaemia " has anyone on this site have/had the same problem and was you treated for this?

I have never seen a Nephrologist as I was told "I wouldn't be referred until I reached stage 4."

thank you

20 Replies
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Hi Bowler,

Unfortunately, anemia is a common situation in CKD. Talk to your doctor about what you can take to help with your anemia. I take iron tablets and it has helped immensely. I am not as tired and sluggish. But do not take iron without checking with the Doc because it can be toxic.

And sadly, many do not see a nephrologist until stage four. But you can be your own advocate and do research on diet and lifestyle changes that can slow down CKD progression. There are many websites. You can look at the Diet and Nutrition under topics on this website as a place to begin.

I'm just curious - does the iron improve your hemoglobin or does it just give you more energy? My doctor suggested I get iron infusions because my hemoglobin is low, but not low enough to get shots of Procrit. My iron saturation is low.

in reply to steve680

I believe it helps the haemoglobin.

BassetmommerNKF Ambassador
in reply to steve680

My hemoglobin was low and it has come up a lot. But the problem was I was not processing iron well either. I had three tests for iron: iron, TIBC and transferrin saturation. All the components of my CBC test have improved.

So sorry to hear you can’t get into a nephrologist. I am anemic with stage 3ckd. I was always tired until I started taking iron pills with vitamin C along with fish oil and changed diet to plant and fruit based diet. I have much more energy and no longer feel as sluggish as before.

I would consult your primary physician for the iron pills. To much can be harmful

Insist on seeing a Nephrologist! At the very least insist on a 24 hour urine to check for proteinuria, and while your at it, have them check that 24 hour urine for iodine deficiency.

WYOAnneNKF Ambassador

The doctor will need to find out what is the cause of the anemia. Could be iron deficiency, or you may need to take Vit B. My levels were both normal. The answer for me was injections of "Procrit." At first it was a weekly thing, and then several times a week. It has something to due with CKD and the kidneys not producing epoetin. I believe that epoetin is a protein produced by your kidneys that tells your bone marrow to makes more red blood cells. So you may want your doctor to find the cause and treat. It can really make a difference in how you feel if you get your anemia treated. Don't be afraid of the injections - small amount of liquid, tiny needle and injected subcutaneous. In fact I was trained to give them to myself.

Talk to you doctor.

Good luck and stay well!

I was suffering from anemia for quite a while until my new nephrologist ordered four iron infusions over a year's time. They helped immensely and I am still a bit anemic but not at such a severe state that I require them. It was like night and day. The problem is that most of the oral iron supplements are poorly absorbed by the majority of patients yet still cause GI upset in many cases. There are many new medications about to come on the market that address anemia in CKD which are safer than iron supplements and infusions. Iron can be toxic in high doses and Procrit has some rather risky side effects as well. Always inform your doctor as to your iron supplementation and it should always be part of your blood work as well.

low iron can also be from blood loss...have you had a colonoscopy and upper GI scope ? i also would not wait until stage 4 to see a nephologist..there are alot of things you can do to slow down the kidney disease....especially to stop any aspirin products and dont drink colas and be careful with salt


Yes had both of these for other health issues, Hiatus hernia, and Diverticula disease, I had no anaemia then, and my eGFR was stable at 38 as it's been for many years, Perhaps my GP wasn't too concerned as my anaemia is borderline

i stayed i stage 3b for almost 18 years...then started to i am 16 gfr...but still feel fine except for tiredness....nephologists dont really do much until you enter lower stage 4...and now i just have to avoid dairy...aspirin products...salt...and no more than 8 oz of meat my BP..which all of these things are tolerable to you know what has caused your reduction i kidney function ?

If you’re avoiding salt, make sure your iodine levels are good. They are best checked in 24 hour urine.

my sodium levels are a tad low....but my neph thinks that is from my he reduced it....i dont add salt to anything..but as we all know it is in so many hemoglobin is 14...which is still in the normal range...but he did allow me to take a small dose of Iron daily to perk me up

Even though salt “is in everything” iodine is not in everything. Almost all restaurants, fast food and prepackaged foods do not use the kind of salt with iodine in it. Low iodine can make your thyroid not function properly and that will definitely effect your kidneys. Most doctors are not aware that iodized salt is not used often unless you specifically buy the kind of salt that says it has had iodine added. Keeping your thyroid healthy will help your kidneys...there is a direct link!

Probably due to high blood pressure which is now controlled.

I may be completely out of line but when my kidney doc told me to take iron pills i got constipated so i started prunes. I have another appt in april and see if they worked.

I don’t have kidney disease but I love prunes and eat them every day as a snack. When I went for my yearly checkup, I had to do one of those tests that look for blood in stools. The doctor called me all upset and said they found lots of iron, which meant I had blood and needed to come in right away for more tests. After thinking about it, I called her back and told her that I eat lots of prunes. She didn’t think that was the cause but told me to stop eating prunes for 2 weeks and come back for a second test. The second test was negative...the doctor was shocked! So I guess that means that you are not out of line ;)

There is almost always a way to get what you need from nature and BTW, very ripe bananas will help your constipation problems too. Unripe bananas have the opposite effect. One fruit...two problems solved!

Interesting about the bananas. Thank you. I know bananas can give too much potassium but maybe every other day or along with prunes ??? Better not to be constipated. I drink a small bottle if apple juice when that happens ... which is not so often now ... and one or two small bottles of those help.

Nephrologist adviced my mom to take either Bonium or calbo-D supplement to help with anaemia issue and it helps. I wish you well

Find a Nephrologist with an anemia clinic

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