Peritoneal dialysis is needed when kidneys no longer remove enough waste products, extra fluid and toxins from the body. Although most patients on peritoneal dialysis still have certain kidney function, it is not enough to maintain their life. However, during or after dialysis, patients may have some problems. Renal anemia is just one common side effect of peritoneal dialysis.
How does peritoneal dialysis cause renal anemia? The answer varies from case to case. Generally speaking, there are three reasons for renal anemia during peritoneal dialysis.
1. Low kidney function
Addition to cleansing blood, another important function of kidneys is to secrete EPO, which can stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells to transport enough blood and oxygen for cells all over the body. For people on peritoneal dialysis, peritoneal dialysis can’t replace diseased kidneys to produce enough EPO, so the body can’t produce enough red blood cells that can cause anemia easily.
2. Build up of uremic toxins
Although peritoneal dialysis can help cleanse the internal environment, it is still not as effective as healthy kidneys. In this case, some uremic toxins will build up in the bloodstream. One danger of these substances is to shorten the life span of red blood cells, thus leading to renal anemia.
An infection or inflammation in the body is another cause renal anemia, while peritonitis is one most common side effect of peritoneal dialysis. Peritonitis, one infection of peritoneum, occurs when germs get into the peritoneal cavity via the catheter. With this infection, patients may also suffer from cold, chills and fever.
These three conditions all can lead to renal anemia for peritoneal dialysis patients. If you are experiencing this problem, remember to control it timely. Otherwise, you may have more severe complications.