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Iron supplementation for Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when you have kidney damage or reduced kidney function for more than three months.

It can be caused by many factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  Your doctor may tell you that you have a particular stage of CKD between stage 1 and stage 5, where 5 is the most serious. 1

If you have been diagnosed with CKD, your chance of having anaemia increases. Iron deficiency (ID) may be playing a role in this anaemia. The stage of your CKD influences your likelihood of becoming anaemic. As your stage increases, it becomes more likely you will also suffer from anaemia. 2

If you do become anaemic with your CKD, ID may be the cause.  ID in CKD may occur due to:

  • Blood loss (and therefore iron loss) from:
    • Frequent blood tests 3
    • Dialysis 3
  • Lower iron intake, caused by:
    • Eating less iron-rich food 2
    • Reduced absorption of iron into bloodstream 2,4
  • Treatment with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) 4

Fatigue is a well-known symptom of anaemia and CKD.5 If you are experiencing fatigue it is important to talk to your doctor . Fatigue, and other symptoms , that are caused by ID can be treated, and your doctor can recommend the most suitable treatments for you.


  1. Levey AS, Coresh J. Chronic kidney disease. The lancet 2012;379(9811):165-180.
  2. Mehdi U, Toto RD. Anemia, diabetes, and chronic disease. Diabet Care 2009;32(7):1320-1326.
  3. Fishbane, Pollack S, Feldman HI, Joffe MM. Iron indices in chronic kidney disease in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 1988-2004. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2009;4(1):57-61.
  4. Wittwer I. Iron deficiency anaemia in chronic kidney disease. J Ren Care 2013;39(3):182-188.
  5. Macdonald JH, Fearn L, Jibani M, Marcora SM. Exertional fatigue in patients with CKD. Am J Kidney Dis 2012;60(6):930-939.
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