Anyone get RED hands

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Flaxen, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Flaxen

    Flaxen New Member

    My hands often get red and inflamed yet my blood tests never show arthritis findings..diagnosed with Fibro/CFS..Just curious.Thanks, Flax
  2. tandy

    tandy New Member

    knock on wood`
    But I have gotten the red palms on numerous occasions. Usually when I'm in a bad flare up of symptoms.
    My Rheumy was concerned that this is possibly the starting of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    (I guess its a symptom of RA)?
    Sometimes my sed rate goes up too. Which indicates inflammation.
    Your not alone~
  3. hdbubblehead

    hdbubblehead New Member

    looks & feels like ya been clappin your hands for an hour huh?
    i understand red can also tell you something about your adrenal glands. that would be about your immune system.
    all the reasons listed sound correct too.
    best to you..........hd.
  4. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    I recently found out my ferritin is 367. Ferritin is a test for iron storage. I go to a hematologist next week to confirm a diagnosis of hemochromatosis. One of the symptoms is redness in the palms of the hands.

    Hemochromatosis (HHC) is a genetic disorder of metabolism. Individuals with hemochromatosis absorb too much iron. Iron cannot be excreted therefore the excess builds to toxic levels in tissues of major organs such as the liver, heart, pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, lungs, and synovium (joints). These overburdened organs cease to function properly and eventually become diseased. Therefore, undiagnosed and untreated HHC can develop into diseases such as diabetes, heart trouble, arthritis, liver disease, neurological problems, depression, impotence, infertility, and cancer.

    Iron build up in those with classical (HFE related) hereditary hemochromatosis is slow, usually taking years to build to destructive levels. HHC/Iron overload generally manifests in a male's early thirties and is diagnosed in a male's mid to late fifties. For this reason HHC has acquired the mistaken identity of an older male's disease. HHC can be present in females, adolescents and possibly children.

    Dr. John Feder and a team of scientists including Dr. Roger Wolff of Mercator Labs (also known as Progenitor Labs) discovered the gene for hemochromatosis, named it HFE and announced its discovery in August 1996.

    Numerous prevalence studies, including one conducted by Kaiser Permanente in collaboration with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demonstrated that mutations of HFE are common: One in 200 Americans can have hemochromatosis and likely is unaware.

    Because of this discovery, one can now be genetically tested for mutations of the HFE gene with two collection methods: whole blood sample or cheek brush sample. According to John Longshore, Ph.D, Director, Laboratory Diagnostics, Greenwood Genetics, both methods are reliable. Care to protect sample however, might include overnight mailing as extreme cold or heat may destroy tissue sample.

    Most at risk:

    Males of Scots-Irish, British, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Italian, (Northern Western European), or Mediterranean descent, or with a family history of premature death by heart attack, liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, impotence, neurological disorders or cancer.

    Women who no longer have a period due to menopause, premature discontinuation of period or an hysterectomy and who have the same ancestry and family history listed above.

    Blood relatives of these men and women.

    Anyone homozygous for HFE gene mutations, especially C282Y. However, evidence is mounting that indicates iron loading may occur in heterozygotes and compound heterozygotes as well, perhaps affecting the heart.

    Family history and symptoms are highly important in those heterozygous for HFE gene mutations. Individuals manifesting symptoms and with family history of iron overload related disease will want to have body iron status established through testing ferritin and transferrin iron saturation percentage.

    According to Finnish studies, the mean age of death by heart attack for females is at the same rate as men but death may occur twenty years after menopause or cessation of menstrual cycle. For women, monthly blood loss due to period appears to serve as a preventive means of excess iron accumulation.

    For this reason, men might realize the same benefit by donating blood. Dr. David Meyers of University of Kansas Medical Center and Dr. Jukka Salonen of Finland both report that men can reduce risk of heart attack by 50% with one blood donation a year.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Hemochromatosis can affect the entire system, symptoms can be numerous and similar to diseases better known to physicians such as diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, liver disease, impotence, and depression. Therefore misdiagnosis is common. Physicians might focus on one particular disease that can occur as a result of not detecting the cause: Hemochromatosis.

    Not everyone manifests the same same symptoms. Listed below are those most commonly associated with excessive iron build up:

    chronic fatigue
    arthritic pain in joints (for some the middle two fingers are affected; this is known as iron fist)
    loss of libido (sex drive) or impotence
    amenorrhea (premature cessation of menstrual cycle)
    changes in skin color such as jaundice, bronze or gray-olive colored skin, a tan without being in the sun, redness in the palms of the hands
    abdominal pain
    weight loss
    shortness of breath
    chest pain
    heart arrhythmia
    elevated blood sugar
    enlargement of spleen
    elevated liver enzymes (ALT/AST)
    irritable bowel syndrome

  5. juliejo

    juliejo New Member

    Morning, i smiled when i read this as mine have started up the past few days. Very deep read palm's and fingers. And yes like 10 big sausages. The the itching starts and drives me bonkers.
    It is usually worse with the onset of the winter but also when i am going to have a flare.
    I cannot wear my rings anymore either.
    I was told it's all due to the circulation by my Gp.
    I rub a hand cream in with cooling peppermint in and it does help.
  6. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Very recently, since I've begun the Guaifenesen protocol, my hands have begun to hurt, though not as badly now as at first and more on the outsides, really.

    Also, the last few times I've seen my internist I've turned up anaemic; so it doesn't seem likely that I'm holding an excess of iron...but sometimes the body works in funny ways. I was taking prescription iron supplements that were just too irritating to my stomach; so I have to switch to another type of iron supplement from Whole Foods, but I'm wondering if it's better to just leave the anemia alone since heart problems tend to run in my family.

    Do you know anything about this at all? I find that I do best when I collect information from everywhere under the sun and bring it back in to my doctor to discuss with him.

    Thanks for your help,
  7. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    Unfornutely your doctor is wrong just like my internist. You can be anemic and still have iron overload. Without the iron test you'll never know till the iron starts destroying your organs,gives you a heart attack or stroke. A doctor can not determine if your anemic by doing a hemoglobin and hemocratic test.
    If your doctor want do one go to and you can order all the iron test for $50.00. It's worth knowing.

    A New Perspective on Iron Deficiency

    Presentation Given by Roberta Crawford in June 2001 at NIH Workshop in Bethesda, MD

    A prevailing myth says that iron deficiency is the world's greatest nutritional problem.

    Let's define anemia: a deficiency of red cells or hemoglobin, or red cells that die too young or are discolored or possess an abnormal shape, or red cells that lack adequate iron.

    Now defining iron deficiency -- so-called "normal" iron levels vary from lab to lab. Most "normal" levels are set too high. Saturation: 12 to 40-45% is reasonable at the present time. Ferritin: 5 to probably 50. As our years of study have shown, we have had to lower these levels several times to be safe.

    Think about it. If "normal" levels are set artificially high, and your levels fall below that "normal," you are "iron deficient."

    So how much iron does the human body really need? Iron is not excreted. The iron you absorb stays and accumulates in storage except that you can lose one milligram a day through hair, finger nails, skin cells and other detritus. That is the amount needed every day to replace the loss. One milligram. (Women in reproductive years, one and a half milligram). The RDAs or RDIs recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board is out of date and incorrect. The other way to lose iron, of course, is by blood loss.

    The normal levels of iron need to be lowered.

    Hemoglobin is not iron! Unfortunately physicians prescribe iron to anemic people who test with low hemoglobin. Yes, the patients are anemic, but the iron is collecting in storage instead of going into hemoglobin. These people are iron-loaded. They need iron removed despite the anemia. The anemia should be treated with B vitamins, especially B12, B6 and folic acid. Many patients with anemia are dying of iron overload, and some are hastened to their death by their physicians who give iron. Blood banks seem to believe that hemoglobin and iron are the same. They have prepared lists of high iron foods to give out to donors with low hemoglobin. They invariably tell these people: "Your iron is low." Dangerous misinformation.

    Physicians like to diagnose or rule out a disease called hemochromatosis. That causes confusion and many problems. There is no consensus. Doctors hesitate to treat without a diagnosis. Too bad that word was ever invented. Each patient is different with different symptoms and different iron levels.

    First: treatment does no harm whether there is excess iron or not. A cutoff is set on hematocrit to prevent severe anemia, and when the patient tests under that cutoff, blood is not taken that day. Giving blood is beneficial.

    Second: even a small amount of excess iron can damage heart and brain and other storage sites in the body and lead to heart attack or stroke. It is foolish to wait until iron levels confirm "hemochromatosis."

    There is exaggerated concern when hemoglobin falls temporarily, following surgery, for example. Blood transfusions are over-used. A study shows that surgery patients who do not receive transfusions survive better than those who do. [NEJM Feb 1999 340:409-17]

    Before taking iron you must test saturation and ferritin. (Ferritin indicates storage iron, which is not essential to maintain life). If both saturation and ferritin are extremely low, you must discover why. Low iron is a signal that iron is being used by cancer cells or is feeding bacteria, or usually it means there is chronic daily blood loss. The bleeding could be from an ulcer or tumor, etc. The source must be found.

    Iron is in just about everything. If you are not absorbing the one daily milligram, you are truly on a starvation diet, and low iron is the least of your worries.

    Let's look at iron with 21st Century eyes and be aware of excess iron's toxic ability to harm.

    Q: I went to the blood bank and they told me I was anemic; how could I have iron overload?

    A: Blood banks do NOT screen for iron overload/hemochromatosis. They are basing their comments on the hematocrit or hemoglobin readings that they take prior to a blood donation (the finger prick test) and these are not the correct tests for iron overload storage! Yet blood banks continue to give out false information to their clients, telling them that they have low "iron" or even in some cases that their iron is high! The iron-overloaded person may be anemic at the same time. There are several types of anemia that are iron-loading! Hematocrit and hemoglobin are NOT tests for iron overload/hemochromatosis; ask your physician to test you with transferrin saturation (TS) which is calculated by dividing the serum iron by the TIBC (total iron binding capacity) and serum ferritin to confirm or rule out iron overload

    Q: I had the blood tests for iron overload and my doctor says I am "fine"; do I need to worry about it now?

    A: First of all, always get copies of your medical lab reports for your home medical file and review them yourself. Make sure that the serum iron, TIBC, and serum ferritin tests are on the report and double check to make sure that you fall into the "safe zone" set by AHS--a ferritin under 150 and a saturation percentage of under 40%. Some labs have very "high" normal levels and you might not really be in a safe zone. Many patients have contacted us who have iron studies in the "danger zone" but their doctors have told them that they are fine. It is prudent to find out for yourself. The same philosophy applies to the DNA test--make sure you get copies of the report for your own files and know if you have the single or double mutation and which of the two mutations you carry (you can even carry one of each known as a compound heterozygote).

    Q: I have had the correct tests for iron overload and I have low iron; should I worry and should I take iron pills?

    A: LOW iron means investigate the cause: cancer? internal bleeding? chronic infection? It is dangerous to take iron without knowing the reason for the iron deficiency. Your doctor should thoroughly investigate the cause of your low iron before prescribing iron pills. Victor Herbert, MD JD, Professor of Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City states that no one should take iron supplements without first assessing their iron storage status.

  8. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    I will print this thread and bring it with me to my next appointment. My integrative medicine doc. is somewhat sophisticated about these things; so it will be easy to ask him about it.

    Several times, every other month, I had extremely heavy periods that lasted a full two weeks. The same thing happened to my mom at around the same age; so I didn't really question the anemia. Because I do see my doctor every other month, though, in an effort to keep on top of my health dramas and these sorts of things, I will be sure to make sure that we take whatever steps are needed to ensure the right things are being done and the proper steps taken.

    Your help is really appreciated. I've learned so much from this board!
  9. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    ...I saved the link to the site you posted, Fibromaster, so that I can print it before my next doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks.

    It was very interesting reading, albeit I'm not thrilled with the concept of bloodletting. I'm always bringing new information to my doctor of some sort. He is usually a step ahead of me...but, then, one never knows as it was after his experience with what happened to me that he stopped writing new prescriptions for Effexor. (By the way, for what little it's worth, I was never anemic or anything else until I took that darn drug. All of my bloodwork has been wacky since I stopped taking it last September.)
  10. willruthie1965

    willruthie1965 New Member

    Thanks for posting about this IRON OVERLOAD. I think everyone should get tested for this illness. It's easy to take care of but the problem is the damage to your organs wont go away. But by getting it taken care of it will stop the onset of other organ damage. Ruthie
  11. ulala

    ulala New Member

    I recently had an allergic reaction to Plaquenil and my hands were BEET red and I couldn't close my hands, or bend my fingers. My hands were extremely swollen and painful for 10 days.

    I get the red hands quite often and thought that this was an allergy to something. Now I'm not quite sure. I think my ferritin levles are ususally low and my iron levels have also been low. Not sure what that means!

    Great info. I'm haiving genetic testing done at the end of the month and will make sure to have this test done.