worried about my mom

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High everyone, I'm new here. It's a long story but my mom has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is 72 and the only family I have in world. She has had RA for over 30 years. She tried all the drugs in the past and they made her sick. Now she just takes 2.50 of prednisone. The thing is she is also anemic and has been for almost as long as she had RA. In September her Hemoglobin was 9.9 but now it is 9.0. The doctor wants her to go have one of those scope test to check for bleeding but the doctor she wants us to go to almost killed 2 people with that test. My mom has been anemic for years. The thing is I think she has anemia of chronic disease because one time she stopped taking her prednisone and her blood count dropped and soon as she started taking it again it went back up. The doctor never ordered  a ferritin test, she just gave my mom a huge dose of iron, she can't take it, it makes her sick to her stomach. Her RBC was normal. This is what was off on the blood test

Hemoglobin 9.0

Hematocrit 30.3

MCV 78

MCH 23.3

MCHC 29.7

RDW 16.4

I would appreciate any help someone could give me about this.


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  • Posted

    Yes anemia goes with RA.  She is somewhat anemic as you said.  Treating the anemia should help her.  You should google "anemia and RA" and start reading!

    If the iron pills are too difficult, there are 2 other things she should try: 1, cook only in caste iron;  2. be sure to eat read meat and other food high in iron.  You can google that too. 

        I wish you both the best. 

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  • Posted

    Dear Rose

    1- depending on where your mother's  doctor thinks the bleeding is occurring, there are several possible tests from scans to endoscopies but I can assure you NONE IS LIFE THREATNING so you should not be afraid about that

    2- But if your mother's  RA is active it is normal to have low hemoglobin levels/be anemic.

    Hemoglobulin (Hgb) is a protein (part of our red blood cells) that carrys oxygen throughout the body to the organs. For that to happen the oxygen binds to iron that exist in the hemoglobulin.  Inflammation, like the one that occurs when RA is not controlled,   interferes with the body’s ability to both use iron and absorb it from the diet. Without iron there are no red blood cells. This is why RA patients are frequently  anemic . So her anemia might be just "normal" from an active  RA

    So you could wait a little longer and do another blood test soon to watch her Hgb levels . If they have come up again - or at least do not go down - this should make an internal bleeding less probable. 


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  • Posted

    The blood count labs are abnormal and may warrant a referral to an oncologist. 

    Unfortunately we only have immunosuppressants to help with RA which don't correct the problem but merely keep it in a holding pattern.  In the meantime, our immune system may be unable to respond to infections. 

    Dr. Tent from Michigan has an interesting perspective on autoimmune disorders and how to treat them.He also has information on low iron count that may be worthwhile. You can find his videos on youtube. While I believe in supplementation,it is expensive and not covered by insurance. I didn't find anything that worked fast enough to give me any kind of relief from the pain and swelling so methotrexate and prednisone was necessary. However, I did find Nature's Plus glucosamien chondroitin MSM ultra rx-jont cream with Celedrin & Black Cherry through Vitalcost which I found to give me fairly immediately relief for my hands. 

    Best wishes.


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    • Posted

      See an oncologist? seriously? do you have any kind of  medical background to say such worrying thing to someone ? Dr Tent the "dr" that is against vaccine contrary to 99.99%  of researchers? Seriously? 

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    • Posted

      In fact I do but I push prevention.  A good provider refers a patient with anemia to hematology/oncology to help r/o ca and possibly initiate erythropoeitin to stimulate RBC production. 

      Another important tenant to healthcare is having a good bedside manner. Treating others with respect regardless of whether or not you agree with them goes a long way in helping others. 

      You seem like someone who wants to always be right. Good luck with that approach.

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    • Posted

      Funny because me too - so what kind of medical training do you have to say that someone might have cancer? I am curious. Not only you can not say such thing  from those blood tests but, much more important, it is irresponsible to say something like that to someone that is already feeling scared. Bed side manners are of course important,  but even more important is to be responsible and care for people, which you clearly don't. 

      So tell me what medical training do you have and why do you think those blood tests might mean cancer? I am very curious

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    • Posted

      There is something called evidence-based medicine and what your dr tent does is not evidence  based, it's not tested, it's not proved. Because f it was he would have published in a proper scientific journal- which he has !

      There are hundreds of thousands of scientists all over the world who mght disagree on details but not on the bases of how disease occurs and how should be addressed. This include vaccines that have saved millions of people in the world, it is because of peopel like him that kids are now

      dying of measles , a disease that until a few years ago was under control

      I believe people have the right to do whatever they wnat with their body, even kill themselves but scare them like you did with that light comment on oncology is not acceptable 


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    • Posted

      And finally anemia and RA are common partners, even if levels go very low and 9 something is just worrying because she is an older can be perfectly treated by family doctors . Oncologists deal with cancer. No specialist will be called for an anemia, which cause is clear
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  • Posted

    This couldn't be pernicious anemia by any chance?

    I have that with my RA and it requires regular shots of B12

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