... Anemia (reduced red blood cell number and/or volume) is more common in patients with longstanding diabetes. This is probably due to the effect of diabetes on the kidney, which makes the hormone erythropoietin. Erythropoietin stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells, but this hormone is reduced in patients with moderate or severe diabetic kidney damage resulting in under-stimulated red blood cell production by the marrow.
Most people with diabetes do not have anemia in the absence of kidney disease. It is easy to test for anemia and kidney disease with simple blood tests that most people with diabetes have had many times. There are many potential causes of anemia, including iron deficiency, B12 or folic acid deficiency, heavy menstrual bleeding, ulcer in the stomach or upper intestine, colon cancer, kidney disease, etc. Diabetes itself is not really a primary cause.
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