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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Joint pain with low hemoglobin count

 debiwbing - Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:57 am

My husband has something going on in his joints. It started with redness, swelling and severe pain in his wrist. It stayed there a couple of days, then moved to his knee and foot. It got so bad there,that one day he had to be in a wheelchair. It then moved to his fingers and hands. Two of his fingers were so swollen,they looked like they were about to bust open. Then it moved to his elbows. Then, back to his foot again, but this time a different part of the foot. It is now back in his foot again and his hands. He went to his primary doctor. He said he thinks it is gout. He did a blood test to check for gout. When that came back, they called and said that his hemoglobin count was low, as well as, other discrepancies in the test. The doctor wants him to go have a chest x ray. I am totally confused about this. I don't understand what joint pain has to do with having to have a chest x ray. Can you help me understand what it is the doctor might be looking for? Thank you.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:52 pm

User avatar Hello -

While gout is a likely suspect for the joint problems, and your husband may be anemic (given the low hemoglobin), the chest x-ray probably doesn't have any direct connection to any of this, but simply is part of a comprehensive physical exam which probably got underway unintentionally, while looking for the cause of the migrating joint inflammations. This is a very reasonable and proper part of such an exam, but likely hadn't been planned; there will probably be some other things done now, as well, to get a good overall impression of your husband's general health.

This is my best guess regarding the chest x-ray. I can think of no singular reason, relative to the main complaint, that would warrant it, but a complete evaluation does make sense.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep us updated as you find out more.

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