Wondering if this is happening to others and what's been found to be the cause. I seem to be yo yo ing between anaemia and no anaemia. Take iron tablets it improves, after a few months anaemia returns. Diet good as on slimming world diet so plenty meat, green leafy vegetables, salad etc. I have had gastroscopies a colonoscopy loads of repeat blood checks. Iron tablets give me a lot of abdominal pain so don't really want to take them if I can avoid it. Any thoughts would be welcome x

28 Replies

  • I am suffering with anaemia and have done since easter,but i have had bariatric surgery last year and a chest infection at easter and that is the cause of mine darling.xxxx

  • Hi cagsie

    I know just how you feel, I to suffer from anaemia on and off and have to take iron tablets. I'm just presuming it's down to my RA. As they say it can be linked to this. Hope this helps

    Lady B 😊

  • I have been taking Spazone, liquid,100% natural iron, very gentle to your stomach. Recommended by Dr. Chriss Kessler among other functional medicin doctors. Worth a try😊

  • I have injections every 3 months. B12 is stored in the liver so you could ask about injections.

  • Thanks, up to now my B12 and folate levels have been normal so do not need the monthly B12 for pernicious anaemia. X

  • Read the NHS website for other reasons regarding problems which cause anaemia. Its an informative page which you may find helpful especially if you take MTX for example.

  • I had my first does of B12 injections about 7 weeks ago and still have issues with energy and tiredness.. they said it will take 3 months to kick in then I have to get them as a booster every 3 months after.. did you feel a benefit after the course?!

  • Yes, but I had a loading dose which is one a week for a month then 3 monthly. It did not take long for it to kick in and energy levels to rise. I remember about 6 weeks after the first loading dose. If your not feeling better go back to your GP as they do give them more frequently if needed, which I don't yet. Energy levels do drop a bit the week before an injection and for a day or so after the jab. But my GP said let him know if its a problem then I can have them after 11 weeks not 12. I could not get out of bed easily before the injections and had other blood issues. It was a relief to go on the injections. Hope that helps xx

  • I had 6 injections over two weeks and have told the doctor there is no difference and to give it the 3 months to take effect. I am due my first booster towards the end of September.. I am hoping I will see a difference by then..

  • In my experience anemia is triggered by arthritis, as your inflammation reduces so will the anemia.

    From my whole-food plant-based perspective, if arthritis is not big enough of a problem to deal with any diet that includes saturated fats, ie meat, is likely cause of other long term health problems, incl death. See

    My own experience is that keeping all fats to a minimum helps reduce arthritic symptoms. Also a whole food plant based diet naturally leads to a good weight for your BMI: when I dropped dairy from my diet I lost 12kg and my weight came into my safe BMI range for the first time in 40 years, and has stayed there with no effort, making my doctor very happy!

    Did you know that during WW2 death rates in Norway from heart disease plummeted? After invasion the German army immediately requisitioned cows and other animals for their war effort and the Norwegians were left with plant-based diet. After the war once the Norwegians started eating meat again death from heart disease quickly reached pre-war levels. See This is far from the only large-scale study/example.

    The WHO organisation recommends, "Less than 30% of total energy intake from fats (1, 2, 3). Unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, canola and olive oils) are preferable to saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard) (3). Industrial trans fats (found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines and spreads) are not part of a healthy diet." See

  • Removing dairy a great deal. I did not know about the Norway experience during WWII. Fascinating.

  • Hi Andy, great to see what you have said and I have saved the WHO site to peruse later. Did you find with and Medstead that you gained weight. I have put on so much in the last few months taking Sulfasalazine.. am thinking of coming off as I also take Humira..

  • After onset of RA my weight went up slowly probably mostly due to much reduced activity, but only slowly because I reduced my intake as well. Once I started the Paddison diet and almost at the same moment started MTX my weight went down 12kg and has stabilised just inside the top end of my safe BMI level. First time in 40-50 years I have had an almost ideal BMI.

  • With the diet I'm on, fats are cut to a minimum, I take very little dairy. I think it's inflammation based but my GP keeps testing everything.

  • Have you been screened for coeliac disease (blood test to start with)? That was my story totally - couldn't understand why I kept being anaemic and kept telling my doctor I shouldn't be as I ate a really good diet. Straight gastroscopies won't pick it up - it needs to be an endoscopy that goes much further down and takes biopsies of the first part of the jejunum. If you do want to ask your doctor about coeliac disease, make sure you are eating decent amounts of gluten (2-4 slices of bread a day or the equivalent) for preferably up to 6 weeks before being tested or you risk getting a false negative result. Coeliac is another autoimmune disorder - many folk seem to collect AI conditions - I know I have three different ones.

  • Same here, thyroid failure, P.E, Coeliac, low Vit D and yes its all linked. My RA consultant found the Coelic and PE and I did not know I had blood issues either. But I stress being gluten free has had no effect on my RA. Its not a problem really. The camera was not too bad either as I opted for the rather nice mind bending purple and pink sky sort of relaxing medication so can't remember a thing although I rather enjoyed the medication for a couple of hours. !! xx

  • Floradix liquid iron supplement will not hurt your stomach and it tastes good. My anemia comes and goes too

  • Hi Cagsie. I have had RA for 31 years and on many drugs, have had anemia off and on for years. I have always blamed the drugs but since having 3 monthly B12 injections the problem is so much better, not perfect but like you iron tablets upset my tummy so much I hate taking then. I also take folic acid. I hope you find a better solution for you.

  • You need to know whether your anaemia is due to low iron levels, blood loss or is just low because of your inflammatory disease. If your iron levels are OK there is no point in taking more (and upsetting your stomach) if the cause if the inflammation (or if the cause if B12 deficiency etc.) So an exact diagnosis of the anaemia is more useful.

  • I'm RA factor negative, often when my inflammatory markers are ok, I feel awful. Pain, stiffness and fatigue. I do wonder how much the disease causes this. I think it needs better exploration, not just iron levels, B12 and folate. I think the red cells need to be looked at, from being formed in the bone marrow to their life span. How the inflammation affects this. Thanks for your answer. Hope you are keeping well xx

  • I don't think this will be much help to your particular problem, but I had an episode of becoming very anaemic (around half normal). After many investigations the bone marrow was shown to be inactive. It was thought this was part of the auto-immune process and it recovered on high dose steroids.

  • Are your ferritin stores low? If so, you need a long period on the iron supps. There are various types. I went through a few until I found that one didn't cause any side effects.

  • 🙋I'm anaemic too! Iron levels 6.2. I'm taking ferrous fumarate but haven't seen any positive changes yet.

  • Hope you do soon as your levels are very low. It probably took a long time to get where it is so will take a while to get back to normal. Good luck xx

  • I am in exactly the same position as you. Anaemia seems to be a real problem for me and similarly to you it yo yos up and down. I am currently take iron tablets, but will probably have to have a break from them soon. I had an endoscopy from which they took 4 biopsies and a colonoscopy, but nothing showed up that points to anaemia. My GP was firmly of the opinion that it is caused by the RA.

    I have also experienced eye problems where a membrane grew across the retina and optic nerve - which again has been put down to inflammatory issues with the RA.

    Following an MRI I am waiting for an appointment with my Rheumatologist for injections to be given with ultra sound pinpointing into both my shoulders, as the MRI showed evidence of Bursitis and tendinopathy.

  • Gosh you have a lot going on just now, hope it works out ok for you. Went for my latest endoscopy on Tuesday, all ok except for some inflammation, probably due to medication. Haemaglobin back up to within normal limits, I will just keep on as I'm doing as it all seems to right itself eventually x

  • For the past 6 months I have had yoyo blood tests, discovered because I asked for an extra one. It seems to have settled down but I have to have checked again in 3 months, just in case. My diet is and always has been very good and other than the UK norm of low vitamin D, my blood has been good, they even called me on one occasion because they thought I had a serious infection as my white count was high, but I felt fine. So don't worry too much about it, just get them to test it every 3 months until they get a consistent norm.

  • Hi, not really worried as its been like this for so long. Just wondered if others had the same problem. I am assuming it's the RA that causing it as I've been tested for every other cause. I get checked regularly as on a biological drug. Hope you are as well as can be x

You may also like...