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Doctor insights on: How Does Polycythemia Affect Your Blood

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How does polycythemia affect your blood?

How does polycythemia affect your blood?

Thicker blood: Thicker blood means slow flow to the organs. True polycythemia may cause headaches. Severe polycythemia can develop blood clots. ...Read more

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Being treated for polycythemia vera with phlebotomies. How does taking blood approximately every six weeks treat this condition? I don't understand.

Decr risk clotting: Keeping the hematocrit in a normal range (hct <45% in men & 42% in women) can decrease the risk of thrombosis (blood clots) in polycythemia vera (pv). Phlebotomies can reduce the hct. For patients at high risk for thrombosis (age >60 or hisotry of thrombosis) phlebotomy can be combined with Hydroxyurea to lower hct. Keeping WBC in the normal range may also be important. ...Read more

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Can I donate blood if I have polycythemia or is it considered "tainted"?

Can I donate blood if I have polycythemia or is it considered "tainted"?

Not qualified: Most of the time persons with blood disorders such as polycythemia or hemochromatosis are disqualified as blood donors. Sorry. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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I herd that polycythemia vera is just a type of blood and when excess blood is removed and life can be saved. Is it true?

I herd that polycythemia vera is just a type of blood  and when excess blood is removed and life can be saved. Is it true?

Polycythemia vera(PV: PV is an overproduction of red blood cells by the body. White cells and platelets may be elevated as well. The treatment is to try to suppress the production of the cell line with hydroxylurea or agrylin (anagrelide). The goal is to prevent blood clots due to the thickness of blood due to the increase volume. Periodic phlebotomies to keep the hematocrit below 45. At least 10-20 year survival with treatment. ...Read more

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Can polycythemia vera cause elevated bilirubin blood levels?

Can polycythemia vera cause elevated bilirubin blood levels?

To the extent that: P vera would be associated with increased rbc turnover, a modest increase in bili is possible. However, the disease is one of proliferation more than destruction, so if the bili is quite high we need to evaluate. ...Read more

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Do people with polycythemia have much hemoglobin in their red blood cells?

Do people with polycythemia have much hemoglobin in their red blood cells?

No more than usual: The problem is the number of red blood cells (there are too many), not the amount of hemoglobin in each cell. ...Read more

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I have polycythemia but im suffering from leg pain: can my blood disorder be the cause of my leg pain?

Yes: Polycythemia can caused sluggish blood flow in your blood vessels. This sluggish blood flow can indeed lead to cramping of the muscles as by products of metabolism are not carted away as efficiently and can build up (things like lactic acid) and cause the cramps. Increase fluid intake, massage affected areas gently, and pause or rest during activity may help. ...Read more

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I have had polycythemia vera about 10 years. Now my blood work is reversed and low numbers. What does that mean? I am so tired

I have had polycythemia vera about 10 years. Now my blood work is reversed and low numbers. What does that mean? I am so tired

See your doctor.: The hematologist who first did the evaluation on the polycythemia would be a good reference for the subsequent anemia. Low rbc levels will cause significant fatigue due to inadequate transport of oxygen. The underlying cause may be much more serious than polycythemia -- get this checked out asap. ...Read more

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I have polycythemia and the cause is currently unknown. How much should I expect my red blood cell counts to drop from phlebotomy alone?

I have polycythemia and the cause is currently unknown. How much should I expect my red blood cell counts to drop from phlebotomy alone?

Hemoglobin: Removing one unit of blood would, on average, reduce your hemoglobin by 1.0 gm%. In terms of red cell count it would be about 0.3 million RBC/cmm. ...Read more