5 doctors weighed in:

Will having polycythemia make my son a better athlete?

5 doctors weighed in
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not sure

It increase the risks of complications though, such as blood clots, stroke, headaches, spleen enlargement, sensitive itchy skin, stomach ulcers, joint inflammation, etc.

In brief: Not sure

It increase the risks of complications though, such as blood clots, stroke, headaches, spleen enlargement, sensitive itchy skin, stomach ulcers, joint inflammation, etc.
Dr. Ecaterina Sartina
Dr. Ecaterina Sartina
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Dr. Andrew Nordine
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Polycythemia (increased red cells in the blood) will not make him a better athlete.
Within limits, it increases the oxygen deliverable by blood and may improve endurance. Elite endurance athletes sometimes train in lower oxygen (e.g. At altitude) to induce a form of polycythemia. This is not advised for children. Polycythemia should be evaluated as it can be dangerous and signal serious disease.

In brief: No

Polycythemia (increased red cells in the blood) will not make him a better athlete.
Within limits, it increases the oxygen deliverable by blood and may improve endurance. Elite endurance athletes sometimes train in lower oxygen (e.g. At altitude) to induce a form of polycythemia. This is not advised for children. Polycythemia should be evaluated as it can be dangerous and signal serious disease.
Dr. Andrew Nordine
Dr. Andrew Nordine
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