North Texas Kidney Disease Associates (NTKDA) apart from providing you with not only the medical treatment, also ensures you are provided with information to help you and your family understand your health, make informed decisions, and get answers to your questions as soon as possible.

We have created an online Patient Education Center for this. We know your questions do not come up only during our office hours, therefore NTKDA physicians have developed a comprehensive library of information to provide you and your family more information on the most common kidney disease-related topics when you want it.

NTKDA blogs written by NTKDA physicians are also available.

Patient Education Center

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone made by kidneys which in-turn, makes blood. When kidneys are not working at their fullest, patients can have low red blood cell count called anemia. EPO requires iron to make blood. We generally get iron from a healthy diet. Sometimes, kidney patients need extra iron supplementation, either as pills or intravenously (IV).

Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues. Without oxygen, your tissues, and organs, particularly the heart and brain, may not do their jobs as well as they should be doing. People with kidney disease do not feel at their best when they suffer from anemia. Proper and timely treatments will help patients live longer, feel better and have more energy.

Laboratory tests

Laboratory test – complete blood count (CBC) is performed on a sample of blood. It measures the amount of hemoglobin (Hgb) in the blood which is the component of red blood cells that carry oxygen.

When anemia begins

Anemia may begin to progress in the early stages of kidney disease when you still have 20 to 50 percent of your normal kidney function. Anemia tends to worsen, as kidney disease progresses.


If you have a Hgb of 11 or less, you are considered anemic with the most likely cause being decreased EPO production. It is important to be evaluated by a physician and test performed for iron deficiency and blood loss in the stool to be certain there are no other reasons for the anemia.


Your NTKDA physician will recommend one of more of the following treatments, if you are anemic:

  • Eating a healthy, iron-rich meal
  • Checking and replacing iron either by pills or IV as decided by your nephrologist
  • Giving EP under the skin or in the veins as decided by your nephrologist