Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCV

by BamaGirl

I have been diagnssed with RA. They out me on folic acid, methotrexate, and 5mg prednisone. Before I started the medicine my MCV was 100.0 my MCH was 33.2. I have been on the meds for one month. I went for a blood test yesterday and my levels now are MCV 102.7 MCH 34.6. What are these levels?

And why would they be going up not down? Should I be concerned?

Comments for Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCV

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You're not concerned that you have RA?
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Please see my page on MCV Blood Test. A high MCV is a marker for Vitamin B12 deficiency, so unless you are taking vitamin b12, why would it go down?

So, it's interesting that you are concerned about this MCV level, but seem relatively unconcerned that you have RA and that you are taking medication that decreases your immune system to the point where some of the side effects are deadly brain infections and fungal infections. Don't you wonder how or why you got a disease in which your own body is attacking itself?? This disease is not 'random', you don't just get it from the air or from 'genetics'. There is a REASON why you have RA and if I had it, I'd want to find out why instead of having to take drugs that could cause me get rare brain infections.

In any case, you may be interested in reading some of my pages on Gluten Sensitivity, which is likely the reason that you have both Rheumatoid Arthritis AND a high and rising MCV.

Kerri Knox, RN

May be due to parasitic Infection?
by: Tom

Please refer to arthritistrust.org for more information. But for a short summary:

"The causative theory used with proven success is that RA may be the result of an opportunistic systemic infection of any number of amoeba, mycoplasma type microorganisms. The RA symptoms are the result of the immune system response to the infection and depend on the areas of most infection. Treatment for RA should be for treatment of the infection which will cure the cause of the arthritic 'symptoms'."

You will find much on the web aimed to help alleviate symptoms - but very little aimed at treating causes of RA. Look to treat cause!

Supplements can help because they give the body replacement materials worn down by the body's fight of the infection. But this is like supplying food to the army...the dying stops only when the war is won...

Quick tip...the infectious agents seem to hate Boron (good!) ... supplement with boron 10 mg/day for a few months see how it goes. Keep up nutrition during this period and look to avoid substances which may cause you allergic reactions (makes RA worse and may even be causative)

If no allergies can be identified look into directly treating for infection itself. If there is no infection then you have done no harm treating for it. At least you've eliminated that as a cause and can now look to allergies or substances to which you are exposed causing it.

There are anti-parasitic drugs available with documented high success rate in the treatment of confirmed RA. Happy Herxheimer reaction ! (look it up, lol)

Great Website !!!! Hope this helps.

RA and genetics
by: Steve Eagle

Ms. Knox is incorrect insofar that RA has a strong genetic link. It is commonly found throughout families. Currently, RA is thought to have a genetic component that is "inactive" until something triggers that component, causing the body to attack itself.

You mean things like gluten and leaky gut?
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen

Hi Steve,

I'm not sure why you think that I'm wrong. I totally agree with you that RA has a genetic component that is often 'triggered' by something- that something just happens to very often be stress that leads to leaky gut and gluten sensitivity. Notice that I put 'genetics' in quotes, it doesn't mean that it's not a FACTOR, but you don't GET RA from your 'genetics', you get a PREDISPOSITION for it. I didn't go into that in detail, but I don't disagree that there is a genetic COMPONENT, but genetics does not GIVE you RA.

More and more studies are showing that gluten is REQUIRED to trigger an autoimmune disease through a signaling factor called Zonulin. Zonulin is triggered by gluten and causes inflammation and Increased Intestinal Permeability that allows proteins to leak into the bloodstream and the autoimmune process to begin.

Kerri Knox, RN

RA and elevated MCV
by: Stacey, RN

I am a RN and was diagnosed with RA 2 years ago. I don't know how old this post is but I find it quite disturbing that a healthcare professional would question a concerned patient about her blood work??

I have been referred to a heme/onc for my continuing elevated MCV. My folic acid was increased with no change with constant fatigue. So in searching what the link could be other than folic acid I came across this page. I wanted to leave a comment on how awful I think the response is in this post and I feel bad for any patients this RN cares for. If the person who posted this concern is still in question about her/his labs please talk to your rheumatologist. Yes the meds we take are immunosuppressants but the benefits outweigh the risks.

Please talk to your doctor with your concerns so you can be properly guided through the process of living with rheumatoid arthritis. To the RN who responded...you try living in constant debilitating pain. Then you tell us how you feel.

Where did I say that the benefits don't outweigh the risks?
by: Kerri Knox, RN

Please show me that I stated the benefits don't outweeigh the risks for particular individuals? What I actually said is that she seemed relatively uninterested as to HOW AND WHY she got RA- as you seem to be, and that she chose to take drugs without seeming to be interested in such things.

If you do not know how and why you got RA, how could you POSSIBLY make an educated decision that drugs that might give you brain infections or cause you to die of rare infections could POSSIBLY be worth the risk?

Without that information, you cannot possibly WEIGH the information to be able to make any sort of educated decision about risk vs. benefit of drugs that could kill you.

What I find interesting is that you seem to think that I'm terrible for thinking that someone should even WANT to know WHY they have a health problem, so that they can actually be educated enough to make an educated decision about their treatment.

However, you put your trust in doctors who won't even speculate about how and why you got a disease, so as to eliminate any possibility of you making any such educated decision about your treatment. He gave you drugs, you took them because he told you that you have no other options to reduce your pain and disability. End of story. No questions about WHY OR HOW in order to give you educated treatment options.

It's just a symptom of how crazy the medical system is when patients defend doctors who are patently uninterested in discovering how and why you got a disease, but think someone is awful for questioning a system that doesn't even allow for such answers. Well, the answers are readily available if they were to look for 5 minutes, but they choose not to remain ignorant of any other solutions aside from drugs.

I've provided much research in these pages showing what the causes and solutions to the vast majority of autoimmune disease and other chronic illness is based on peer-reviewed research, often by practicing medical doctors who didn't just accept the status quo, but chose to ask questions.

So, this website is dedicated to people with chronic illness, so they can choose to get the information they need to make such decisions- if they choose to be proactive about their health and interested in knowing the causes and solutions to their 'incurable' diseases.

Personally, I think everyone should be educated about their options. Since western medicine is not acknowledging these options, thus refusing to educate people about those options, I feel the need to do so. It's why I quit traditional medicine, because there ARE answers to chronic health problems, and they are not discussed in traditional medicine- despite the mounds of evidence supporting the fact that these answers exist.

Anyone who is not interested in finding the answer as to WHY they have an illness is absolutely 100% free to ignore the evidence, if they wish, and they probably would not be on this website if they were not actually looking for education and solutions to their health problems, but I'm shocked that someone in the medical profession would be OFFENDED that I would suggest they might want to educate themselves about their options!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

by: Stacey rn

I am only going to add some input, not argue. All I was saying is it seemed as if u were disregarding her question. It wasn't asking why she got the disease but a symptom of it. I NEVER said I was uninterested in how I got this disease since it's affected my life negatively in so many ways over the last 2 years. However with the new issue this week on my MCV I looked online, as I know I shouldnt. Also. I have looked into alternative options of treatment, especially since I work with very sick patients with a suppressed immune system.
I'm not going to debate your views or beliefs. I just feel that you disregarded the patients question as if it wasn't concerning. That is all.

Not sure how you came to that conclusion
by: Kerri Knox, RN

I'm not even sure how you came to the conclusion that I 'disregarded' her question. I gave her two solid references to help her discover:

1) Why her MCV is high
2) Why she has developed RA and what to do about it.

I commented on her statements about RA to get her to think about her disease process, because she may never in her entire life have a doctor actually discuss how she got her disease! Don't you think that's a sad commentary on western medicine? I do. In fact, you seem to allude that YOU are having to research your own disease process, rather than just get a handout from your doctor upon diagnosis.

If we go to doctors for their expertise in our disease processes, why don't they even discuss causes with us, instead of just handing out pharmaceuticals?

So, when someone asks me a question, for instance, about their high MCV, I use it as an opportunity to get them to think deeper. People often do not even know that they are asking the wrong questions, and 'Why hasn't my MCV come down' is not the right question when one has RA. The correct question is "Why do I have RA". If one answers the latter question, it will also answer the first question.

That's why it might have seemed to you that I 'disregarded' her question, but it was no such thing, I answered her question in such a way to make her begin to think about why and how she got both problems in the first place. Since a high MCV is related to B12 deficiency (why were you put on folic acid for a problem of B12 deficiency and expect your MCV to change? Plus why would anyone give folic acid instead of methylfolate? Methylfolate should be standard since anyone with a B12 issue has a very high probability of having an MTHFR Gene Mutation where folic acid would be contraindicated anyway!), and B12 Malabsorption is often caused by Increased Intestinal Permeablility, which is the underlying cause of all autoimmune disease, it's all related.

I'm uninterested in maintaining sickness, and to have answered her question directly would have been a disservice to her, and would have merely given her help in maintaining her illness.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

Find it interesting
by: Kerri Knox, RN

Also, I find it interesting that you said, "However with the new issue this week on my MCV I looked online, as I know I shouldn't."

You shouldn't research your own health? What an odd thing to say! I guarantee that you'll not find out from your doctor that your MCV is high from a likely Vitamin B12 Deficiency. And if you happened to have the one doctor in a million that actually has done research on his patient's blood tests and understands that the most likely reason for a high MCV is due to Vitamin B12 deficiency, he would almost certainly do a useless Vitamin B12 Level that will be normal, and he'll declare your vitamin B12 deficient self to be perfectly fine, and you'll be left suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency for another several years (you've already been deficient for several years if your MCV is finally high, as it takes that long for Vitamin B12 Deficiency to show up on an MCV test)!

And he'll NEVER put together that both your high MCV and Rheumatoid Arthritis are being caused by Increased Intestinal Permeability, despite the mounds of research on this that is readily available on the internet.

So, to me, it's completely logical to be researching your own health, since your doctor has not done so. He's been trained by drug companies to give drugs, which he obviously does an excellent job of doing. But he's not been trained to help you regain your health. So why would you NOT search online for how to regain your health when you wish to do so?

In fact, I just approved one of the comments in this thread about looking for health info on the web by someone who has regained his health by researching it! He gives some solid research-based information on the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis. But do you think that your doctor is going to test you for PARASITES to help you resolve your RA? Not a chance in the world.

Yet Tom is totally correct in his comments, and parasites absolutely contribute to leaky gut syndrome, which is the direct cause of RA. His comment will probably be seen above yours because he wrote it before yours, but I approved it after yours.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

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