Daily Archives: Thursday, February 15, 2007
I investigated my blood test results and have more information since my OB visit. Next step will be complaint letter to the rheumatoid doctor!
I was looking over my blood test results. The results show a low red blood cell count and a low hematocrit level. I have done some searching on that and found that the OB doctor was right on with what she told me today. My anemia has nothing to do with this pregnancy. Unless I do not understand what it is that I am reading. (That is very possible LOL!)
I found out there are many types of anemia that a person can have. What I did find out is that the anemia I have is called hemolytic anemia. If the anemia were linked to my pregnancy it would be iron-deficiency anemia, which would be determined by the level of hemoglobin. My hemoglobin is normal as the results show and the OB verified to me today with my appointment.
This is where the confusion sets in for me regarding my blood test results.
Now my MCV, MCH, MCHC and RDW all fall under normal. The MCV is nearly high but not quite. Now as I was searching through some information I found some information on this too.
MCV-mean corpuscular volume- if that was high it would mean one of the following, vitamin b-12 deficiency, iron deficiency, or folic acid deficiency. Lack of iron in the diet, thalassemia (a type of hereditary anemia), and chronic illness are the most common causes of microcytic anemia (low MCV). Normocytic anemia (normal MCV) can be caused by kidney and liver disease, bone marrow disorders, or excessive bleeding or hemolysis of the red blood cells.
MCHC-mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration- Lack of iron in the diet and thalassemia are the most common causes of hypochromic anemia (low MCHC). Normocytic anemias are usually also normochromic and share the same causes (normal MCHC).
RDW-red cell distribution width- The RDW is increased in anemia’s caused by deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid.
I have not found any information that would explain what it means to have my red blood cells and hematocrit below normal and have other aspects of the test normal.
There is also the SED rate that was tested and that was elevated.
The rheumatoid doctor told me that was from pregnancy too. I don’t trust a damn thing he said now because he was WRONG with his assumptions regarding my symptoms. I mean this is the doctor who said my hair loss could be from dandruff!! (Rolls eyes.) He also was the one who said my anemia was from the pregnancy, which my OB doctor confirmed today it is not!
So I have an elevated SED rate, low red blood cell count, low hematocrit, and the other stuff is normal. The white blood cell count- normal, Hemoglobin- normal, MCV- borderline high but not quite, MCH- normal, MCHC- normal, RDW- normal, I am wondering what could this mean? My platelet count was within normal range too.
The OB said that these things were not from pregnancy. OK that is fine but what could these things be from? I wish I could find a doctor to investigate and figure it out. I won’t be seeing Dr. K again, the rheumatoid doctor, in July. I’ll be opting for a new rheumatoid doctor referral from my general practice doctor, Dr. T. I will not waste time or money on someone (Dr. K) who doesn’t seem interested in helping me figure out what the hell is wrong with me, or someone (Dr. K) who doesn’t seem to know shit apparently for him being a “specialist”!
I will finish the complaint letter to him and I’ll be sure to post that here when it is ready.
((I wonder if another doctor figures out what is wrong and it is by chance lupus or another autoimmune disease would it be malpractice on the rheumatoid doctor that pretty much wrote me off since he didn’t care to investigate it?))
So I have my visit with the OB today. Baby is great with a strong heartbeat. Interestingly though I got some information from her that I was not expecting to hear. What she told me made me realize that the rheumatoid doctor I seen probably don’t know what the hell he is talking about!
So I tell Dr. N that I had blood work done through my general practice doctor, Dr. T, and that the results shown that I had low red blood cell count and she said my hemoglobin was borderline. Dr. N pulls up the file and says that the hemoglobin is fine for pregnancy and the anemia from the low red blood cells have nothing to do with my pregnancy! I was shocked! I looked at her and said well the rheumatoid doctor I seen said that the anemia was from pregnancy and he also suggested my hair loss was from pregnancy even though it has been falling out pre-pregnancy. The next thing she said to me really made me infuriated at the rheumatoid doctor EVEN MORE!
Dr. N, the OB doctor, said that hair loss throughout pregnancy is not so common. She told me that hair loss usually occurs after the woman gives birth and since my hair loss has been established to start pre-pregnancy that my hair loss would not be connected to this pregnancy either! I am so pissed at that rheumatoid doctor! I am going to be writing him a nice letter and then I will be notifying the medical board too regarding his treatment of me during the visit. What a complete jackass that rheumatoid doctor is!!
It is closer to the date I go see the dermatologist. I go March 2nd. I’m looking forward to getting that done. I know he/she will rule out psoriasis on the scalp. The rash on my face I don’t think is roseate (Rosacea) but we’ll see what they say about that. I have looked up some other causes of hair loss and most of those have been ruled out. A thyroid problem can cause your hair to fall out and in my case my thyroid is normal. Also it backs up what my OB doctor, Dr. N, said about pregnancy and hair loss. It happens after giving birth women notice hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby and this is hormone related. I haven’t given birth so this has been ruled out. Sometimes it could be the medicine you take that causes your hair loss. This could have been a possibility prior to getting pregnant for me. I was on some medicines that could have caused hair loss. However, this also has been ruled out because I have not been on my medicine for seven months now and the hair still falls out at a considerable amount to not be normal loss of hair.
Diabetes or another underlying disease can also cause hair loss. Diabetes has been ruled out in my case. It says Lupus is the other disease that can cause hair loss. Now this is where it confuses me regarding Lupus. I took an ANA test and it came back negative and I am wondering if I can test negative for the ANA but still have the disease? I will continue to look into that to see what I can find.
Alopecia areata was another thing listed that could cause hair loss. This could be a possibility. It is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the hair follicles because it mistakes them for foreign invaders into the body. In MOST cases the hair loss happens in patches but not all cases (My hair doesn’t fall out in patches.) and it can lead to total loss of hair on the scalp. Alopecia areata often occurs in people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, pernicious anemia, or Addison’s disease. Some of those listed run in my family. Most of my information I retained from NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) and you can feel free to visit that page yourself at http://www.niams.nih.gov.
Now I’ve also looked into Psoriasis and of course it doesn’t match my symptoms. The most common symptoms of psoriasis are thick, red patches known as plaques, and dry, silvery scales. I don’t have any of that going on anywhere on my scalp or skin. It is also considered to be an autoimmune disease except unlike alopecia areata that attacks hair follicles the immune system will attack the skin surfaces and the scalp with psorasis. Most cases of psorasis can affect the toenails and fingernails and again I have nothing going on in that area. I am confident that the dermatologist will rule out psorasis.
Now my facial rash doesn’t seem to fit the explanation about rosacea either. Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness. You may mistake some of its characteristics — small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules — for acne. The rash I have on my face as state before is below the eyes on the cheekbones and on the nose. I have nothing on the forehead, chin or lower part of my cheeks. Also the rash I have doesn’t have pimples at all either. Rosacea can affect the eyes by bringing on a burning and gritty sensation, which I don’t have either. So from what I’ve read on this I am confident the dermatologist will also rule out this in my case.
Now back to Lupus again. I have read some information from all over the Internet on the disease and the best information in my opinion came from the MayoClinic web page. I found a photo of the skin rash connected to lupus and my rash is not quite as red as the picture shows, it is very similar to my own facial rash.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed clinical and laboratory criteria to help physicians diagnose and classify lupus. If you have four of the 11 criteria at one time or individually over time, you probably have lupus.
Most of the persons (95-98%) with lupus have a positive ANA test. But, the rest of people can have a negative ANA test, and still have lupus. So, you can have symptoms of lupus and a negative ANA test and that is why you should be very careful.
Despite high sensitivity, a negative ANA test does not rule out systemic lupus erythematosus. Rarely, patients with isolated anti-Ro (anti-SS-A) antibodies or antisingle-stranded DNA (anti-ssDNA) have a negative ANA test. Also, patients with the systemic lupus erythematosuslike antiphospholipid syndrome may be ANA negative.
Now I don’t understand what a lot of this means but I do know by looking over my blood test order and results there is nothing there about anti-RO. I only see the ANA order and result, which was negative for me. I guess I will ask to have this tested in me to be sure it isn’t lupus that I have. Unfortunately I am thinking it can be nothing else.
Further down the rabbit hole of my medical problems we go! Thanks for visiting. If you have any information that could be useful to me please feel free to pass it on so that I might have a look.