What does polycythemia compensate for?

Asked By: Julian Anikiev | Last Updated: 13th June, 2020
Category: healthy living alternative medicine
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Polycythemia is a response by the body to an increased demand for oxygen. It occurs when hemoglobin is not able to pick up large amounts of oxygen from the lungs (i.e., when it is not “saturated”). This may result from decreased atmospheric pressure, as at high altitudes, or from impaired pulmonary ventilation.

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Regarding this, can secondary polycythemia be cured?

Overall, the general outlook is favorable for people with this condition, especially those with secondary causes. The outlook for primary polycythemia is fair. While it is typically incurable and long standing, for many people, it is controllable and treatable.

Additionally, what causes secondary polycythemia? Secondary polycythemia most often develops as a response to chronic hypoxemia, which triggers increased production of erythropoietin by the kidneys. 25 The most common causes of secondary polycythemia include obstructive sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In respect to this, does polycythemia go away?

You want to feel better, not worse. Remember that secondary polycythemia is caused by an underlying condition, most of which are well-known and have multiple treatment options available. Once the underlying cause is corrected, symptoms of secondary polycythemia usually go away.

What happens when you have polycythemia?

Polycythemia vera (PV) is a blood cancer that begins in the marrow of your bones, the soft center where new blood cells grow. It causes your marrow to make too many red blood cells so your blood is too thick. You may be more likely to have clots, a stroke, or a heart attack.

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Is there a difference between polycythemia and polycythemia vera?

Absolute polycythemia occurs when more RBCs are produced than normal and their count is truly elevated. Dehydration is a common cause of relative polycythemia. Absolute polycythemia may be primary or secondary. Primary polycythemia (polycythemia vera) is a spontaneous proliferation of RBCs in the bone marrow.

What foods to avoid if you have polycythemia?

Lower your consumption of animal products such as red meat, whole milk, cheese and butter. Choose fish, lean cuts of meat or poultry, fat-free dairy products and olive oil. Choose whole foods: Choose whole grains in modest portions. Reduce consumption of white flour, sugar and processed foods.

Can drinking alcohol cause polycythemia?

The risk factors for secondary polycythemia (erythrocytosis) are: obesity. alcohol abuse. smoking.

How long can you live with polycythemia?

Median survival in patients with polycythemia vera (PV), which is 1.5-3 years in the absence of therapy, has been extended to approximately 14 years overall, and to 24 years for patients younger than 60 years of age, because of new therapeutic tools.

Can exercise lower red blood cell count?


Regular exercise causes an increase in the number of RBCs in the blood. The expansion in plasma volume will be reflected as lower hematocrit and hemoglobin levels on a complete blood count (CBC).

What are the two types of polycythemia?

There are two main types of polycythemia: primary and secondary. The first is usually caused by a genetic mutation, whereas the latter is caused by an underlying condition that either prevents oxygen delivery to tissues (for example, a lung or heart condition), or a tumor that affects secretion of erythropoietin.

What kind of doctor treats polycythemia?

A hematologist is a doctor specializing in blood diseases and disorders. Any hematologist may be able to help you with your PV. But it's a good idea to ask if they've treated anyone else with this particular disease. Most hematologists who treat PV and other blood disorders practice at major medical centers.

Is secondary polycythemia a disability?

If you suffer from polycythemia vera, which is a serious disease that can result in death, you may be unable to work. In those situations, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you suffer from this condition, your body creates too many red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.

Does polycythemia run in families?

Most cases of polycythemia vera are not inherited. This condition is associated with genetic changes that are somatic, which means they are acquired during a person's lifetime and are present only in certain cells. In rare instances, polycythemia vera has been found to run in families.

What should I eat if I have polycythemia?


Polycythemia vera diet
Eat well-balanced meals complete with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. Ask your doctor how many calories you should consume each day to maintain a healthy weight.

What is the best treatment for polycythemia?

Ruxolitinib (Jakafi) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat people with polycythemia vera who don't respond to or can't take hydroxyurea. It helps your immune system destroy cancer cells, and can improve some polycythemia vera symptoms.

Can polycythemia vera go into remission?

Spontaneous remission of polycythemia vera: clinical and cell culture characteristics. The clinical remission with normal physical findings and normal peripheral blood counts has persisted for a further 11 years.

How do you get polycythemia?

Polycythemia vera occurs when a mutation in a gene causes a problem with blood cell production. Normally, your body regulates the number of each of the three types of blood cells you have — red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

How do I stop polycythemia itching?

Itching. To keep your skin from drying out and becoming itchy, lower the temperature of your shower or bath water, especially in the winter. After bathing, pat yourself dry and use lotion to keep your skin moist. Try not to scratch; scratching can damage the skin and increase the risk of infection.

Can I donate blood if I have polycythemia?


As a Polycythemia Vera patient, you can not give blood to the Red Cross. You can go to blood centers where they will accept blood from a PV patient for what is referred to as “therapeutic phlebotomy”. You will need to check with the respective blood center in your area.

How do you know if you have polycythemia?

Your doctor will diagnose PV based on your signs and symptoms, your age and overall health, your medical history, a physical exam, and test results. During the physical exam, your doctor will look for signs of PV. He or she will check for an enlarged spleen, red skin on your face, and bleeding from your gums.

Can you live a long life with polycythemia vera?

Polycythemia Vera: Prognosis and Life Expectancy. Polycythemia vera (PV) is a rare blood cancer. While no cure exists for PV, it can be controlled through treatment, and you can live with the disease for many years.