July 15, 2014
Question from Latham, New York, USA:
I have been diagnosed with anemia caused by eating a mainly vegetarian diet. My doctor completed a metabolic panel and my results included a GFR >60, BUN 7 and Creatinine 0.6 with a ratio of 11:1. I know these numbers are low, but don’t know if this indicates diabetes-related kidney problems. Microalbumin tests have always been negative. If my levels start to rise as the anemia gets corrected, is there a risk that the rising levels will show further kidney damage?
The usual reason for anemia with a vegetarian diet is the lack of eating foods that have iron in them. It sounds like your kidney function is good. You could take a supplement or work on eating green, leafy foods, such as spinach, that have iron in them. The connection between kidney disease and anemia is usually related to end-stage kidney disease. In this case, the kidney fails to make a hormone called erytyropoietin that stimulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow. It does not work the other way where anemia induces kidney dysfunction.