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Why am I so pale in my face since my PMR?

Am a fair skinned person anyway but can some one with medical knowledge explain what is happening with why I have taken on a very pale lifeless complexion since my PMR stemming a good 9 months now since pre diagnosis?

I don't smoke, nor drink, follow a macrobiotic diet, eat extremely healthily but do have some mal- absorption issues at times with gut intestinal issues. Leaky gut is certainly one of these which I keep onto top of with pro/prebiotics and making bone broth. IBS is kept in check pretty well also.

Whilst I can't say I am fatigued (low iron) I am having B 12 injections every 3 weeks as my blood levels were just borderline - they don't like you having regular bloods done and prefer it to be 3 monthly - saves money for the DHB'S (district health boards).

Any thoughts most appreciated and many thanks in advance.


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It is one of the things mentioned in the literature - that the patient tends to be ill-looking and I actually bought make-up for the first time in my life because I did look so washed out! I suppose when you think about it any illness will make you look poorly - think of all the expressions we use about it: "green about the gills". "peely-wally" and so on. Many patients with PMR are anaemic but that definitely wasn't the reason for my paleness. The fatigue doesn't always have anything to do with low iron - I live at moderate altitude so my haemoglobin is always higher than usual but I was fatigued with PMR, that's often part of the autoimmune disorder.

But no - no medical reason I know of. Usually people are complaining about the rosy cheeks the pred has given them - and everyone thinks they "look so well"!!!!


Thank you PMRpro - good to get your feedback.

I've always worn make up and folk say I look well, even the medical folk.

It kind of quietly grates when I know some days I feel the pits and told I look well.

Who would believe me if I said otherwise?

So I say nothing to the contrary and accept the compliment as gracefully as possible.

I had wondered if the wan pale look had anything to do with the vascular system generally, possibly with us not being as active, although having said that I can be reasonably active on a good day and still look very pale without makeup.

Why then is anaemia associated with PMR do you think?


Because it is something commonly associated with all autoimmune disease - often it isn't known what the mechanism of the autoimmune disorder is and presumably it may be having some effect on some part of the body concerned with blood cell production/iron uptake or something.


Excellent, thank you again, this is starting to take shape.

PMR is certainly an extremely complex disease and it takes this forum to help me find answers - can't thank you enough for your knowledge base which is so helpful.

Thank you once more PMRpro.


I am naturally pale too but find it does my morale no end of good to put on a little subtle blusher and, in summer, a bronzer. Nothing wrong with a bit of artifice!

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Absolutely Annodomini and must remember the bronzer next summer.

Prior to having a hole closed in my heart some 20 years ago I was very pale.

After surgery I had colour in my body especially my face, now I seem to have digressed to my pre heart operation look days.

Thank goodness for makeup and a bit of hair dye I say!!

Great to hear from you.

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I was so pale my sister came into my bedroom and thought I was dead! I have started wearing blusher for the first time in my life.


Oh Piglette how awful for you and so pleased that blusher has helped.

May it long continue.

Good to hear from you again.


The only trouble now is people keep saying how well I look. It is rather a nice blusher though!


I think it is your low B12. Pernicious anemia famously makes people look very pale. You should pink up when your blood cells shrink a bit x


Thank you Saxjody that is most interesting and prior to this PMR illness my colour was excellent.

I am having my B12 every 3 weeks presently so have been curious and most interested to know what is within the PMR paradigm to make these changes other than what I have previously mentioned in replies to the other posts.

Kindest regards to you in the meantime and thank you once more.


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