Undiagnosed Autoimmune Anemia

in by SPG

I had 3 vaccinations (MMR, Varicella and DTAP) done in Jan, 2012. After that my HB level dropped as low as 4-5 in 3 weeks. Since then I have had 5 blood transfusions to bring my RBC upto normal. I have been on prednisone since ON and OFF. My blood level drops when the does tapers down from 60mg to 20mg. I am due for another transfusion this coming week. I have been working with a haematologist and rheumatologist. They have done multiple tests (about 100 tests) and have not been able to diagnose. All the tests are negative. Have you come across such case and any advise will be very helpful.

About SPG

Conditions: Hemolytic anemia

Doctors seen: MD – specialist, Naturopath

Treatment: Prescription medication/shots, Acupuncture, massage, and/or other homeopathic

Children: 1

Age: 25-34


2 Answers


I have heard of the Autoimmune Anemia two times with Celiac Disease. It is quite possible that the vaccinations triggered it.


About Me:


Celiac Disease, Hashimoto's thyroid disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome


Vitamins, herbs, and/or supplements, Gluten free




Over 65
Answered on July 14, 2013



Thanks for writing, and thanks for checking out our site. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with what must be a very frustrating experience – even under the best of circumstances, autoimmune disease can be tricky. Not having a definitive diagnosis or treatment plan makes it that much harder.

As for your question, while I have not run into this problem personally, I have heard of it happening, and it has been reported in the literature.
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While I’m not sure from your question whether you’ve been diagnosed with the autoimmune variant of hemolytic anemia or another, it seems likely that this is a particularly sensitive immunological reaction, most likely autoimmune. This would certainly account for the severe anemia after vaccinations (which provoke an immune response) and tapering of prednisone (which blunts the immune response), both of which serve to supercharge the immune system and its effects.

However, from your question, I’m guessing you may already know all of this regarding the autoimmune nature of your condition and instead want to know how to treat it without having blood transfusions or having to go on prednisone. Since I am not an expert in this field, I’m not really qualified to answer this specific question, but I do have a recommendation. If you haven’t already done so, especially if you’re in a rural area, find the nearest major academic medical center and make an appointment with a hematologist and endocrinologist there. In the absence of an actual referral, I’d suggest finding some names and then cross-referencing those names with a site like or, to determine who the best physicians are. While they may not be able to provide an answer, the doctors at these centers are generally the best at these types of diagnoses and treatments, if for no other reason than they see many patients in a similar predicament and thus have the most experience with tough cases.

Another possible option, if the doctors feel they have exhausted other possibilities, is to consult your physician or medical center (or the internet) about partaking in any clinical studies involving new medications or therapies. If you decide to go this route, please inform your provider beforehand, so he/she can assess the risk/benefit ratio and counsel you on your options.

I sincerely hope you find a doc that can help you figure out the pathology involved and the appropriate treatment. Please keep us posted on your progress, and feel free to respond with more details about your illness (technical diagnosis, treatments tried, etc.), and I will address and answer whatever concerns I can.

Dr. Gary

Gary Rothbard, MD, MS

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Answered on August 13, 2013

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