What is relative polycythemia?

Asked By: Hachem Fohrmann | Last Updated: 3rd April, 2020
Category: healthy living alternative medicine
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Relative polycythemia is an apparent rise of the erythrocyte level in the blood; however, the underlying cause is reduced blood plasma (hypovolemia, cf. dehydration). Relative polycythemia is often caused by loss of body fluids, such as through burns, dehydration, and stress.

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Besides, what is the difference between absolute and relative polycythemia?

In relative polycythemia, the RBC count is not truly increased, but the PCV is elevated because there is less fluid (plasma) in the blood, which makes the relative amount of RBCs appear to be high. Absolute polycythemia occurs when more RBCs are produced than normal and their count is truly elevated.

One may also ask, what can cause polycythemia? Polycythemia can be linked to secondary causes, such as, chronic hypoxia or tumors releasing erythropoietin. Abnormally increased red cell production in the bone marrow causes polycythemia vera. Treatment of secondary polycythemia is dependent on the underlying condition.

Also to know, what is secondary polycythemia?

Secondary polycythemia is defined as an absolute increase in red blood cell mass that is caused by enhanced stimulation of red blood cell production. In contrast, polycythemia vera is characterized by bone marrow with an inherent increased proliferative activity.

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.

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Can 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.

How common is polycythemia?

Polycythemia vera affects slightly more men than women. The disorder is estimated to affect approximately 2 people per 100,000 in the general population. It occurs most often in individuals more than 60 years old, but can affect individuals of any age. It is extremely rare in individuals under 20.

Is polycythemia inherited?

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 these families, people seem to inherit an increased risk of polycythemia vera, not the disease itself.

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 dehydration cause polycythemia?


Relative polycythemia is an apparent rise of the erythrocyte level in the blood; however, the underlying cause is reduced blood plasma (hypovolemia, cf. dehydration). Relative polycythemia is often caused by loss of body fluids, such as through burns, dehydration, and stress.

What are the signs and symptoms of polycythemia?

The signs and symptoms of PV include:
  • Headaches, dizziness, and weakness.
  • Shortness of breath and problems breathing while lying down.
  • Feelings of pressure or fullness on the left side of the abdomen due to an enlarged spleen (an organ in the abdomen)
  • Double or blurred vision and blind spots.

Is Polycythemia a primary cancer?

Polycythemia vera (pol-e-sy-THEE-me-uh VEER-uh) is a type of blood cancer. It causes your bone marrow to make too many red blood cells. These excess cells thicken your blood, slowing its flow, which may cause serious problems, such as blood clots. Polycythemia vera is rare.

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.

What is the treatment for polycythemia?

The most common drug used to treat PV is hydroxyurea (Hydrea®, Droxia®). This medicine helps slow the production of red blood cells. Some people with PV take aspirin every day because it helps thin the blood.

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.

Can drinking alcohol cause polycythemia?

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

Is 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.

Which is a characteristic of secondary polycythemia?

Polycythemia is characterized by an increased number of red blood cells. Secondary polycythemia is usually caused by an exposure to low oxygen over an extended amount of time. Common complications include slower blood flow and development of blood clots.

How can I lower my hemoglobin levels naturally?

increasing the intake of iron-rich foods (eggs, spinach, artichokes, beans, lean meats, and seafood) and foods rich in cofactors (such as vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin C) important for maintaining normal hemoglobin levels. Such foods include fish, vegetables, nuts, cereals, peas, and citrus fruits.

Is Polycythemia a secondary cancer?


Secondary polycythemia can be caused by a variety of erythropoietin-producing renal lesions and cancers. Renal cysts, hydronephrosis, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular cancers and uterine myomas are known to cause increased erythropoietin secretion, thereby causing secondary polycythemia.

Can polycythemia vera be misdiagnosed?

Mesa, MD, FACP: The misdiagnosis of polycythemia vera has decreased sharply in the era of the presence of the JAK2 mutations for us to test. Certainly, secondary causes of erythrocytosis include, most commonly, sleep apnea and a high affinity of hemoglobins.

What happens if Polycythemia is not treated?

What can happen if you don't treat polycythemia vera? Without treatment, the extra red blood cells in your veins can cause blood clots that reduce your blood flow. This makes you more likely to have a stroke and heart attack. It can also cause pain (angina) in your chest.