Are Rheumatoid Arthritis And Anemia linked? Symptoms And Diagnosis!

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis: This autoimmune disease majorly affects the joints and other organs in the body. In the disease RA, the body tissue is mistaken for a foreign invader, by the body’s immune system. This eventually leads to the immune system attacking the tissue which lines the joints. This then tends to create swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. The other organs that can get damaged are the heart, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. 

Symptoms Of Anemia In Rheumatoid Arthritis

Understanding Anemia: In the Latin language, Anemia means bloodlessness. It occurs when a  lower number of red blood cells are created by your bone marrow, that what your body is real, needs. Oxygen is carried by the red blood cells throughout your body and with a lower rate of these cells moving around, the body starts to starve for oxygen. Anemia also causes the bone marrow to produce lesser hemoglobin. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Anemia

For Anemia, the doctor shall ask you if there exists any experience of common anemia symptoms, and these include,

– Weakness

– Shortness of Breath

– Fatigue

– Headaches

– Pale Skin

– Cold feet and hands

– Pain in the chest can be caused in case of severe anemia. This results due to your heart getting exposed to less oxygenated blood. 

Blood tests that are required for Anemia diagnosis include

Hemoglobin level test

– Red blood cell count

– Reticulocyte count, to measure any immature red blood cells. 

– Serum ferritin, to check up the iron-storing protein.

– Serum iron, to watch out for how much iron is present in your blood. 

The connection between RA and Anemia has been a topic of discussion for a long time since Rheumatoid Arthritis is associated with various types of anemia which include anemia of chronic inflammation and iron deficiency anemia. When the RA flares up, the cause caused by the immune response is inflammation in the joints and various other tissues. 

Chronic inflammation may affect the way your body creates erythropoietin, which is known to be a hormone that controls the creation of red blood cells. Chronic inflammation may also lower the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. 

To treat Rheumatoid Arthritis-related anemia, can happen. After your doctor figures out the cause of your anemia, treatment can begin. One effective way to treat RA-related anemia is to directly give treatment to the RA by reducing the inflammation in your body. Individuals with iron levels at the lowest benefit from iron supplements. Too much iron can also produce other serious medical issues. Even though it is rarely used, erythropoietin drugs can be used to stimulate the bone marrow to produce even more blood cells. 

As soon as you get to know you have anemia, you must treat it as soon as possible as the lack of oxygen in your blood can make your heart pump harder and pump more blood through your body. Anemia that is not given treatment can seriously lead to irregular heartbeat rates or arrhythmia. If it gets severe, it can also be a heart attack. 

If you make efforts to avoid flaring up Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is less likely to develop anemia. It is recommended to get your regular checkups done by your doctor when you seem to have a chronic disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Blood tests can be ordered by your doctor to check if you have anemia or not. The medications that are commonly used to control or manage Rheumatoid Arthritis, can be seen triggering anemia. NSAIDs and even steroids that are also called corticosteroids may also trigger via a different mechanism of chronic blood loss. The medications can also cause major bleeding of the stomach lining as per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The blood lost in the bleeding of the stomach lining, over time can lead to anemia. 

Anemia is known to be very easy to be treated. Quick treatment can help avoid the symptoms that are associated with anemia which include very serious heart problems. An effective regimen treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis shall improve the quality of both your anemia and the joint symptoms. You shall indeed feel better all around. 

Hence, as stated by Dr. Keel, RA-related anemia treatment is known to treat the underlying inflammation caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. What shall alleviate your anemia and the symptoms is the management of inflammation and swollen joints that is associated with RA.

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