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Why Renal Failure Patients on Dialysis Have Anemia and Osteoporosis

2013-01-14 16:42

Many renal failure patients that are on dialysis complain that their anemia and osteoporosis are worsen after they begin dialysis, so they are puzzled and wonder why should this happen.

Why renal failure with dialysis have anemia?

Because of damaged renal functions and excessive accumulation of metabolic wastes and toxins, anemia is one common sign of chronic kidney failure patients due to reduced secretion of erythropoietin by the kidneys and much shortened life span of red blood cells.

Actually proper dialysis should have the function of alleviating anemia by improving appetite and reducing bleeding tendency. However in some cases, dialysis does cause blood loss and worsen anemia. Such as blood clotting in the dialyzer, broken dialysis membrane, obstacles when blood flows back into patients’ body. Besides, renal failure patients on dialysis have to do blood test and taking blood sample can cause loss of blood.

Anemia can be alleviated through the following measures:

Supplement of erythropoietin

Add more foods that are rich in vitamin B12, iron and folic acid

Why renal failure patients on dialysis have osteoporosis?

Renal failure patients already have metabolic disorder of calcium and phosphorus---high serum phosphorus and low serum calcium which can cause secondary hyperparathyroidism. All these will easily induce osteoporosis.

Though dialysis can alleviate metabolic acidosis, it can further lower serum calcium level and worsen hyperparathyroidism if there is calcium deficiency in the dialysate.

What is more, dialysis patients need to take long-term heparin to prevent blood clotting. Heparin make bones to release more calcium and make patients more susceptible to osteoporosis and bone fracture.

Other factors include elevated level of magnesium, aluminum and copper, etc.

Osteoporosis can be alleviated with the following measures:

Alleviating calcium and phosphorus disorder by having foods that are low-phosphorus and high-calcium

Having phosphorus binder to reduce serum phosphorus level

Anyway, only if the underlying cause---renal failure is treated can anemia and osteoporosis be rectified naturally from the root.

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