Why Iron Supplements Are Used to Treat Kidney Disease
A previously published article addressed the issue of how anemia relates to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and how symptoms of anemia appear in these patients. This is important information to know because people with this disease are often lacking in iron, which is necessary for the production blood cells and overall health.
There are five stages of chronic kidney disease, and the treatment recommended depends on the disease’s progression. Symptoms in the early stages are often silent, which means that individuals frequently are unaware that their kidney function is in decline. But with proper treatment, it may be possible to prevent full kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant.
The purpose of this article is to answer the question of why iron supplements like Fergon are often recommended as part of the treatment of kidney disease.
The Role of Erythropoietin
A hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) is produced by the kidneys and provides signals to the body to make red blood cells. People with kidney problems are often unable to make enough EPO, which causes one’s red blood cell count to drop. Anemia often develops at this stage of CKD. Medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents may be prescribed to help the body generate more of this hormone.
How Iron Can Help Kidney Patients
By supplementing the body with iron, the secondary condition of anemia can be corrected and managed. This is because iron helps boost the body’s red blood cell count and enables it to deliver oxygen to its many parts.
Kidney patients who are taking an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent medication will need to consume additional iron to maximize the agent’s effectiveness. While taking this type of medication, one’s body uses up the iron supply faster than normal. Therefore, additional iron is necessary to replenish those stores.
Choosing the Right Iron Treatment Plan
It is important for CKD patients to consult a doctor to have their iron levels tested and determine whether they have developed anemia because of a kidney condition. More specifically, CKD patients should have their TSAT level tested (it should be at least 20 percent) and their ferritin level tested (it should be 100 ng/mL or higher). Monthly testing is recommended until a patient’s hemoglobin target is achieved.
A good starting point in any treatment plan is to consume more iron-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, eggs, and lean meats. For further support, iron supplements can be taken in tablet form by mouth or in liquid form. If patients are unable to obtain the iron they need by mouth, they may receive it intravenously in a clinic or doctor’s office.
High potency Fergon is trusted source of iron that is highly soluble in the body. It’s a smart idea to choose a supplement that is easily digested and that has proven to cause fewer side effects than the alternatives to avoid upset stomach, constipation, and bloating. Once in the body, this supplement is highly effective in replenishing iron in the blood cells quickly. Although CKD patients should confirm the personalized dosage with a doctor based on the severity of their condition, typically one tablet per day with food is recommended for adults.
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