image article
10-February-2022
KNOW THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND ANEMIA

Rheumatoid arthritis and anemia so closely related because inflammation in the joints can affect the production of red blood cells. When rheumatoid arthritis is active, an autoimmune response causes inflammation of the joints and other tissues.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the medical term for rheumatic diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammation of the joints (arthritis) consequence autoimmune disorder or the immune system attacks body tissues. Although the exact cause of this autoimmune condition is not known, it is suspected that this condition may occur due to genetic factors.

People with rheumatoid arthritis usually have a family history of the same disease. On the other hand, environmental factors or exposure to chemicals can trigger this condition.

Rheumatic diseases most commonly affect the joints of the hands, wrists, feet, and knees. This condition can cause chronic pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, which can lead to bone erosion and joint deformities.

Anemia, which has another name 'blood deficiency', is a condition when the number of red blood cells produced in the bone marrow is decreased and the hemoglobin level is insufficient.

 Why are rheumatoid arthritis and anemia so closely related?

Symptoms of anemia are present in nearly 60% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This is caused by the presence of underlying complaints, such as lethargy, weakness and fatigue, which can actually be a sign that the rheumatic patient is anemic.

This is because inflammation in the joints can affect the production of red blood cells. When rheumatoid arthritis is active, an autoimmune response causes inflammation of the joints and other tissues. The inflammation then decreases the production of red blood cells by causing the release of certain proteins that affect how the body uses iron. In addition, inflammation can also affect the way the body produces erythropoietin, a hormone that controls the production of red blood cells.

Other factors that cause rheumatoid arthritis patients suffering from anemia is due to taking pain killers such as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs); acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen; can cause bleeding ulcers to form in the stomach or digestive tract. This condition causes blood loss leading to anemia. NSAIDs, particularly acetaminophen, can also damage the liver, which is when iron from food consumed by the body is stored and released for later use.

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis also take drugs such as azathioprine or cyclophosphamide, a side effect caused by these types of drugs is suppression of the bone marrow, resulting in a decreased ability to produce red blood cells. This condition can lead to anemia if the body cannot produce enough red blood cells.

Treatment of anemia depends on the cause and severity of the disease. Therefore, a proper diagnosis regarding the cause and severity of anemia is necessary to determine the appropriate therapy. The severity is classified by WHO based on the level of hemoglobin in the blood.

Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body and carbon dioxide from body tissues to the lungs for expulsion. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells, so if a person is anemic, the hemoglobin level also decreases.

Decreased hemoglobin levels can be used as a way to detect anemia, using an Hb meter. Currently there is an Hb meter in a portable form that is easy to use. HemoSmart GOLD Hemoglobin Screening Meter is an example of an Hb meter tool to measure hemoglobin levels.