What is Polycythemia Vera?
When the bone marrow produces too much blood cell, the result is Polycythemia Vera; this is however a condition that is not common. Polycythemia Vera is a result of a high concentration of red blood cells only, though additional white blood cells and blood platelets are also being produced. It is a rare condition and is more often than not found in males than in females.
There is no definite condition as to what causes this problem. No studies have been able to pinpoint on the subject matter as to what causes Polycythemia Vera. Statistics have also shown that this condition is more prevalent in people above the age of forty. So with this result inferences can be drawn that this condition is because of life styles or exposure to certain environmental conditions. But the idea of this condition being dormant since childhood and surfacing after the early forties cannot also be thrown to the wind.
Polycythemia Vera is a serious problem and needs to be tackled at once. If the condition is not treated at once then the person is likely to suffer from a heart attack or a stroke sooner or later. The chances of a person afflicted by Polycythemia Vera suffering a stroke or a heart attack increases by eighty percent.
There are yet others who are quite unlucky; they develop leukemia after being affected by Polycythemia Vera. This is when abnormal bone marrow cells tend to grow un-controllably. But this has only to do with a small percentage of the population. It has so far not found a single child case of Polycythemia Vera, which was recorded in the United States.
Polycythemia Vera is also known by many other different names. A few of them are Primary polycythemia, Myeloproliferative disorder; Polycythemia rubra vera; Erythremia; Vaquez’s disease; Splenomegalic polycythemia; Osler’s disease; Polycythemia with chronic cyanosis – Myelopathic polycythemia; Cryptogenic polycythemia, Erythrocytosis megalosplenica.
Polycythemia Vera Symptoms
The symptoms related to Polycythemia Vera appear gradually. They are dizziness and headaches. One may also experience itchiness, this so especially after a warm bath. In some cases the upper left abdomen may appear full. One may also experience shortness of breath and also this may be acute when lying down. The symptoms of phlebitis are similar to that of Polycythemia Vera.
Emergency Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera
There are some critical symptoms that are to be observed and immediate action needs to taken if a person comes up with any of the symptoms mentioned below:
Look out for any traces of blood in your stool or vomit. Call for emergency immediate if you are showing symptoms of a stroke.
A blood clot in the arms or the limbs is a dangerous indication if you are also facing any of the above symptoms.
What causes Polycythemia Vera?
Studies have shown that the exact cause of Polycythemia Vera is not known. But most studies show that this is not birth related disorder. It is mainly found that this disorder is caused by environmental factors or consumption of certain drugs.
How is Polycythemia Vera diagnosed?
The doctor can determine if you Polycythemia Vera by conducting a blood test.
Polycythemia Vera Treatment Options
There is no cure for Polycythemia Vera but it can be treated. The treatments are basically aimed at reducing the count of red blood cells, and to lower the thickness of the blood running in your body. This reduces the risk of blood clots and this in turn reduces the chances of stroke.