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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Constant cough, weight loss, low hemoglobin and high ferritin levels. What cure is to be done?

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Dr. Sujoy Khan

Allergist and Immunologist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 584 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2013 in Asthma and Allergy
Question: I think I had whoophing cough in early september. (no lab test was done to confirm it). But I had all 3 stages of cough. In the past 2 months My hemoglobin count is going down 110 to 100 to 96. Ferratin level is going high 1000-1100. I am very week (sleepy) Weight is going down. ultrasound shows few swallen lymph nodes in the lower back. Last week doctor gave 6 tablets of Apo-Prednisone 50mg and the cough is going down (stopped). Generally I am healthy. Weight was 139lb in Sept. In nov it was 135 and now it is 130 lb. I am consulting a general practioner. He is sending me for all types of test (blood in stool, urin etc) and ultrasound..all come up negitive. What is the next step I can take
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Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 7 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX,
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thank you for writing to us.

I have summarised the list of problems:
1.Weight loss (though not significant, i.e., not >10% in six months) - but trend is on the lower side
2. Dropping Hemoglobin (case for concern)
3. High (rising) ferritin levels - would suggest an underlying infection as this is an acute phase protein
4. Ultrasound - lymph nodes lower back; I am not sure where exactly these lymph nodes are; but if there are any more such as in the neck, armpits etc, then you definitely need a biopsy and pathology report
5. TSH shows a downward trend - and hyperactive thyroid or thyroiditis needs to be excluded. You can have anemia, weight loss, sleep disturbances, stomach problems like diarrhea.
6. Constant cough

Throat swab, sputum c/s, CRP, CT Chest/abdomen, serum imunoglobulin levels are tests that should give us a better picture on what is going on.
I would not suggest continuing on the prednisolone without a definitive diagnosis as gastritis and blood loss would lower the hemoglobin further.
Please ask your doctor to recommend pantoprazole or rabeprazole to counter the steroid effect on the stomach if he intends to continue this.

I will be happy to answer further queries.
Best Wishes.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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