Apparently rheumatoid arthritis is an ailment associated with joints. But in fact it is an autoimmune disease and merely starts with joints. Next to that it can affect any of our body part, for example heart, lungs, eyes or blood vessels. Among the numerould problems rheumatoid arthritis can cause, anemia is a leading one. About 60% of patients of RA are affected by anemia.

Anemia is a disease during which the hemoglobin quantity in our body goes down. Hemoglobin refers to protein which performs the task of provision of oxygen to each of the portions of our body through blood. It is the important ingredient of RBCs and carries iron. Anemia can take place for a short term or can appear because of certain other ailment or can be a chronic disorder too. If anemia is not so critical, symptoms may not be seen or may be seen not so aggressively. But aggravated anemia is signified with signs and symptoms like tiredness, difficulty in breathing and trouble in carrying out everyday chores.

The causes for the commonness of anemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis are diverse. The inflammation is one of them which happens during rheumatoid arthritis. Normally the inflamed tissues produce proteins which change metabolism of iron, and decrease production of bone marrow and erythropoietin. Erythropoietin the name of a hormone which is secreted by kidneys and has control over the production of red blood corpuscles. So inflammation causes lessened amount of red blood cells due to which our cells cannot receive adequate oxygen and we become worn out. Usually, in RA patients there is no sufficient iron available. This is owing to plenty of factors like menstrual blood flow, bleeding inside digestive gut or trouble in getting iron into the RBCs from bone marrow. Bleeding within digestive tract occurs because of drugs to treat RA e.g. NSAIDs and prednisone.

If the anemia associated with rheumatoid arthritis remains ignored there is a threat of grim deterioration in both the conditions because of the occurence of each other. Studies show that persons experiencing both the ailments have serious category of RA in comparison with patients suffering from only RA and not having anemia. The amount of joint damage is greater in them and they even need greter quantities of anti-inflammatory medicines.

If you battling RA, you should get detected whether you have anemia too by discussing with your physician regarding your blood profile and changes in hemoglobin report. Signs and symptoms are evident if the anemia is moderate or severe. Signs and symptoms comprise of headache, irritability, chest pain, troubled breathing, coldness or numbness of hands and feet, dizziness, pale skin, fatigue, tiredness and even increased palpitation. The best thing is to keep in regular contact with your healthcare provider to check if anemia has been developed.

It has been seen that the drugs utilized for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are of help in reducing symptoms of anemia. In addition, medications encouraging generation of RBCs minimize symptoms of RA e.g. tenderness and swelling of joints. As per a study certain persons who were administered a combination of treatment for increasing iron and stimulating generation of RBCs showed elevated quality of life and muscle strength, and reduced fatigue.

About anemia too you should remain in contact with your healthcare provider so as to make him or her figure out which treatment may be helpful for you for lessening your anemia.

Author's Bio: 

Anemia can be one of the signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Other common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. One of the differences between osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis is that osteoarthritis more often affects larger joints such as hips and knees unlike rheumatoid which affects smaller joints.