Page 10 - beaumont_book_5
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                                                                                increases the risk of heart
           Earlier in this book, we looked at how                               diseases and stroke through the

           important the kidneys are in many aspects                            narrowing of blood vessels. It can
                                                                                also cause further damage to
           of our health. It makes sense therefore
                                                                                your kidneys. So it is very
           that CKD will not just impact on the                                 important that your blood

           kidneys themselves but will have effects                             pressure is monitored regularly
           on other parts of the body.                                          and treated by your doctor.

           Your doctor will help monitor these aspects
                                                                                   The impact of reduced kidney
           but you should also keep an eye out for
                                                                                function on sexuality is often
           any of the following side effects or impacts                         overlooked as some people do
           on your health.                                                      not feel comfortable discussing
                                                                                it. However, sex is an important
                                                                                part of our life so there is no
                                                                                shame in seeking help for it or
        ANAEMIA                             eating iron-rich foods or taking    discussing it with a partner.
           Blood is divided into red and    iron supplements to assist in          CKD can affect your sex drive
        white cells. Anaemia is caused by   improving your red blood cell       (libido) as can other related
        a decrease in the number of red     count.                              health issues such as diabetes,
        cells in the blood. As a                                                high blood pressure and pre-
        consequence, less oxygen is         BLOOD PRESSURE/                     scribed medications.
        transported through the blood       HEART DISEASE                          Some    men     with   kidney
        and this often results in fatigue.                                      problems     may      experience
           People with more advanced                                            erectile dysfunction and some
        CKD (usually stage 3 to 5)                                              women with kidney problems
        produce smaller amounts of a                                            may have insufficient vaginal
        hormone called erythropoietin                                           lubrication and/or suffer from
        (EPO).    This    hormone      is                                       lack of libido.
        responsible for producing red
        blood cells.                                                            HIGH POTASSIUM
           A blood test can determine the                                          Potassium levels in the body
        oxygen levels in your red blood                                         need to be kept in balance – too
        cells (haemoglobin level) to see                                        little or too much potassium can
        if you are anaemic or not. If your                                      cause problems such as heart
        red blood cell count is low, your      When the kidneys aren’t          disorders.
        doctor may recommend that you       working properly, it is more likely    Potassium levels tend to
        receive    treatment    with    a   that you will experience high       increase in people with CKD. It is
        hormone called EPO, which is        blood pressure. High blood          important that you attend your
        available in an injection format.   pressure can have a serious         GP or hospital regularly for blood
        You may also be recommended to      effect on your cardiovascular       tests to ensure potassium levels
        increase your iron levels through   system     –   it   significantly   are monitored.

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