Erythropoietin is a hormone, created mainly in the kidneys, which stimulates the production and maintenance that red blood cells.

Alternative names for erythropoietin

Erythropoietin is generally referred to as EPO. It is also called haematopoietin or haemopoietin, yet these names room rarely used today.

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What is erythropoietin?

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone the is produced predominantly by specialty cells called interstitial cell in the kidney. When it is made, it acts on red blood cell to safeguard them against destruction. At the exact same time that stimulates stem cell of the bone marrow to boost the manufacturing of red blood cells.


Erythropoeitin experimentation in sport. Blood sample being tested because that the visibility of the performance-enhancing hormone erythropoeitin.

Although the precise mechanisms that manage the manufacturing of erythropoietin room poorly understood, it is renowned that specialised cells in the kidney are capable of detecting and responding to short levels the oxygen (hypoxaemia) through boosted production of erythropoietin. As soon as there is adequate oxygen in the blood circulation, the production of erythropoietin is reduced, but when oxygen levels walk down, the production of erythropoietin goes up. This is an adaptive mechanism because it facilitates the manufacturing of an ext red blood cells to transport more oxygen roughly the body, therefore raising oxygen levels in the tissues. For example, when relocating in come a high altitude the air press drops and this can reason hypoxia that stimulates boost in erythropoietin production. In low oxygen states, human being risk emerging hypoxia - oxygen deprivation. Hypoxia can likewise occur as soon as there is poor ventilation of the lungs such as occurs in chronic lung disease, emphysema and also in cardiovascular disease. The production of erythropoietin is decreased in certain conditions such as kidney failure, chronic conditions like HIV/AIDS, and certain cancers and in chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

What happens if I have too lot erythropoietin?

Excess erythropoietin results from chronic exposure to short oxygen levels or from rarely tumours that create high level of erythropoietin. It reasons a problem known together polycythaemia which means high red blood cell count. In plenty of people, polycythaemia does no cause any symptoms. However, there are some general and non-specific symptoms including weakness, fatigue, headache, itching, joint pain and dizziness.

What happens if I have too little erythropoietin?

If you have too tiny erythropoietin, i m sorry is usually led to by chronic kidney disease, there will certainly be under red blood cells and you will have anaemia. Erythropoietin has actually been made synthetically for the therapy of anaemia that outcomes from chronic kidney failure. It is also given come patients v some rarer species of cancer.Some professional athletes have used this type of erythropoietin (known as blood doping) to boost their performance, particularly to rise endurance. Artificially increasing your erythropoietin levels produces more haemoglobin and also red blood cells and also therefore enhances the amount of oxygen that deserve to be delivered to tissues, particularly muscles. This deserve to improve power capacity, back this type of doping practice is banned by most skilled sport committees.

Can we measure erythropoietin in the blood?

Yes, erythropoietin hormone levels can be measure in the blood. The test is done through a an easy blood test, preferably a morning sample collection. A needle is provided for illustration blood indigenous a vein on your arm. You nothing need any special preparations prior to a blood test, yet you have to let your medical care provider know if you space taking any medications, vitamin additional or any illicit medicine or herbs.

The test Results

The test results may vary based upon your age, sex, health and wellness status, and even the an approach used for the test. Your medical care provider will comment on your outcomes with you.

Too tiny erythropoietin might be because of anaemia (low red blood cells), especially anaemia as result of kidney disease. Increased levels that erythropoietin might be due to a problem called polycythaemia (too many red blood cells) or it might be proof of a kidney tumour.

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EPO doping in Athletes

Raised levels of Erythropoietin in athletes suggest erythropoietin abuse (doping). EPO doping can rise the variety of red blood cells and also there by increased availability of oxygen to the muscles. This can help the athlete with raised performance capability and endurance. Blood doping is illegal particularly in skilled sports. Expert athletes room asked to take it this check to uncover out if they room violating the anti-doping law.