Friday, July 16, 2010

Low Hemoglobin

Went for my regular blood tests on Monday and got a call from my rheumatologist's office today. The lovely receptionist (she's always so friendly and pleasant!) told me that the doctor wanted me to go in for some further blood tests because my hemoglobin levels are low, apparently.

Chronic diseases can cause anemia, appropriately and incredibly obviously called anemia of chronic disease, lol! That's what happens when ongoing inflammation means your body produces too many white blood cells and not enough red, and, therefore, not enough hemoglobin – to grossly simplify things. Here's another link that explains that the only way to treat this type of anemia is by treating the disorder that causes it (or in rare severe cases, through transfusions or drugs that stimulate the bone marrow).

So that could be what's happening, but let's hope it's just a wee blip on the lab's part.

So, back to the lab on Monday to get more blood drawn – not enough hemoglobin, so let's take some more out to make sure you've got actually got enough, and it wasn't all a mistake!

Just kidding! I do know it's necessary, just strikes me as rather funny...


  1. Well, shoot. And of course, we all love getting jabbed so much that what's another one so soon?

    I wonder how they treat "anemia of chronic illness"?

    I hope it's just a lab glitch. And if it isn't, then if you have to change meds, I hope they work better than what you're on, now. Have a great weekend, Laurie. Eat lots of cool spinach salad -- it's packed full of iron. ;)

  2. Hey Wren – lol!

    I've added another link I've just found that explains that adding more dietary iron or iron in the form of supplements won't work with this type of anemia.

    But spinach is always good in my books (yay Popeye!), and while I don't eat meat that often, I actually had a steak for lunch yesterday just in case (obviously prior to finding out the above info...).

    :) L

  3. :(
    Hope things get back on track quickly. Guess that's the reason for all the blood-draws; catch stuff early before it becomes a problem. Good luck!

  4. The words from a song by The Eagles comes to mind..."she wonders how things ever got this crazy". Good luck with your new challenge, Laurie.

  5. Hi, just wanted you to know that I am also anaemic and now all the blood results that show it are off on one. It turns out I have a stomach ulcer (nice effect of stress and the ra meds) but also the ra itself chews bits of the stomach, bowel etc. NICE eh? NOT!
    Have you had the B12 checked- I know that B12 is a common looser in us RAers and after a few jabs you feel much better. In the meantime I am trying to eat more protiens and stuff, I am off to look at Laurie's link....PS It makes me really tired and want to sleep

  6. I have had a couple of instances where I had to have follow up bloodwork done. The first time worried me, anymore, I'm not going to let it bother me. I do hope that it was just a false reading on the labs part.
    I laughed when I read your last statement about drawing more blood. Sort of like the bank charging you money for a hot check when they already know you don't have any money in your account.