Anemia is a condition where your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. This hormone helps the bone marrow to produce the amount of red blood cells that the body needs to carry oxygen to vital organs. When kidneys are healthy, they make a hormone called erythropoietin. When the kidneys are damaged, they often do not make enough of this hormone. As a result, the bone marrow makes too few red blood cells. Anemia often develops in the early stages of kidney disease and gets worse as kidney disease progresses.

Your doctor can check whether you have anemia by testing the hemoglobin (Hgb) in your blood.  Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen to the rest of your body.   The test for hemoglobin can also tell your doctor how your anemia treatment is working.

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