During Kidney Week 2012, lots of information was disseminated. One article that I found of use was related to understanding how hematocrit is affected by declines in kidney function.
SAN DIEGO—Hematocrit decreases as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) declines in hypertensive chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, according to findings from a longitudinal study presented at Kidney Week 2012.
Teresa K. Chen, MD, MHS, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed 12 years of follow-up data from the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK). They identified 1,094 African-American patients with hypertensive CKD. Covariates included gender, age at randomization, baseline and longitudinal eGFR, baseline proteinuria, and randomized drug group….More at Hematocrit Decreases as eGFR Declines
Overall, it’s important to realize that as you develop into further stages of kidney disease – defined by your eGFR reading, you have a higher risk of developing anemia. Anemia is a problem because when you are anemic, you don’t have a lot of energy. You don’t feel like doing much. And you need to do things – like make dinner and do a little exercise – to keep up your strength. So, in this case, you need to ensure that you do what you need to make sure your iron levels are maintained or decrease as little as possible.
Ask your doctor to check your iron levels and hemoglobin levels. Take vitamins or iron if approved by your doctor. Your doctor may even prescribe epogen, but that has side effects as well, so don’t think it’s the solution. I want to encourage you to do what you need to do to make sure you are as healthy as possible when you are heading toward dialysis, because the better your albumin and hematocrit levels are when you enter dialysis – the better outcomes you will have.