Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Is there a link between PA and rheumatoid arthritis?

Hello all. I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia last July and am grateful that I have a sympathetic gp who is presently prescribing me 3 weekly injections of b12 as less frequent jabs weren't working for me. I'm also taking folic acid daily as this level keeps falling. my symptoms of the PA are seeming better, less confusion, sore tongue, dizziness etc. However, I have a worrying development of stiff swollen knuckles on both hands and painful wrists. I have made an appointment with my gp for next week by wondered if anybody knows about links between PA and rheumatoid arthritis. I must say that this is really scaring me, as my hands are really painful and not being able to use them properly has happened really quickly.

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.

4 Replies

Hi hjcohen ,

Once you have one autoimmune condition it can mean you are more prone to more, it does not have to mean you will get more. Pa can mean a more likely risk of thyroid condition, diabetes and RA, and others.

With RA its the terribly stiff joints in the morning and evening being less so during the day if I remember rightly. Again not that easy to diagnose, testing positive for RF factor, high ESR and CRP (high white blood cell count) are all indicators.

More to read here:

Wishing you good luck with your appointment,

Kind regards,



Hi hjcohen, I woke up in September with a very painful and swollen finger joint on right hand and same on right big toe (plus something not right with my big toe nails) and have been told it's Psoriatic Arthritis (never had psoriasis myself but was told it has been linked to PA) it did calm down during the day to some extent but was very bad in the mornings, I refused anything for it from GP as I had a feeling if I got my B12 and other levels right it should improve and I am now three months into self injecting twice a week and taking a B-complex supplement and the swelling a pain have completely gone - I'm not suggesting this is a route you should take but I was determined to stop treating "symptoms" with drugs and get to the root cause and fix that - so far it seems to have worked - but if I have a couple of glasses of wine I can feel it grumbling the next day - surprising how quickly alcohol affects the B12 system!


As Marre says, there is a link as they are both autoimmune conditions. It looks like these may be where your genetic weakness lies. However, arthritis does respond to foods a bit like food allergies. I remember reading that oranges were the most commonly cited trigger for causing flare-ups. It is possible you've eaten or drunk something you don't normally that may have caused it to get cranky. Maybe worth looking at your diet while you are waiting to see the GP. You might find you've been eating something unusual, or indulging in something more than normal, like lots of discounted chocolate eggs or some such!

Given that autoimmune is triggered by something, then foods are always a distinct possibility. That's what makes coeliacs 'lucky', they know what their environmental trigger is and can avoid it. Worth a thought.


Very interesting about oranges Chancery, I'm allergic to them, people are like "how can you be allergic they're so good for you" as if I'm making it up, but they cause me skin outbreaks, thrush, nausea etc - I didn't think to link them with the whole PA, arthritis, auto immune stuff too, so thank you :-)


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