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An increase in red blood cells is not good although anemia is a disease
An increase in red blood cells is not good although anemia is a disease. There is no cure for PV at present, but related treatments can control the condition, and some blood needs to be released regularly and therapeutic drugs are taken.
Anemia is a disease that everyone is very familiar with. Simply put, there are fewer red blood cells. So, are there any diseases with polycythemia? What will our body behave when there are more red blood cells?
This article will introduce the content of the disease related to polycythemia in the Elsevier ClinicalKey clinical key. In this article, through the professional perspective of a doctor, you will be introduced to this kind of disease that is “the opposite of anemia”-true red blood cells. Polycythemia Vera (PV).
PV is a kind of hematological tumor, which belongs to myeloproliferative tumor. Its main feature is that the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells, and sometimes it also produces too many platelets and white blood cells. The production site of blood cells is mainly in the bone marrow. In special periods or disease states, the liver and spleen may also produce a certain number of blood cells (extramedullary hematopoiesis), and therefore enlarge. In addition, the blood of PV patients is more likely to clot, so they have a higher risk of stroke or heart disease. It is a chronic disease.
What is the cause of PV?
Almost all PV patients have an abnormal gene (gene mutation), and it is this mutant gene that causes changes in the way of hematopoiesis in the bone marrow. This gene is called JAK2 and will not be passed on from parents to children (that is, PV is not a genetic disease). The exact cause of the mutation in this gene is not yet known.
Under what circumstances are you vulnerable to PV?
If you meet the following two conditions, your risk of illness is higher:
- Are older than 60 years old
What are the symptoms or signs of PV?
There may be no symptoms in the early stages of PV. As the disease progresses, symptoms that may appear include:
- Shortness of breath
- Hot flushes
- Itchy skin
- Sweating, especially night sweats
- Blurred vision or visual field defects
- Bone pain
- weight loss
- Hematemesis or blood in the stool
How to diagnose?
The disease can be found during a routine physical examination or a complete blood count (CBC, that is, routine blood). Or when you have symptoms, the doctor will also suspect the disease. If a physical examination is performed, an enlarged liver or spleen may be found. Further diagnosis requires some laboratory tests, which may include:
Bone marrow biopsy: A sample of bone marrow is obtained through a small operation for testing.
- JAK2 gene.
- A hormone that promotes blood production (erythropoietin).
How to treat?
There is currently no cure for PV, but there are some treatments that can help control the condition. Since there is no single therapy for everyone, combined therapy is often adopted. You need to work with a hematologist (hematologist) to find the most suitable treatment for you. Current treatment methods include:
Bloodletting therapy: regularly draw some blood with a needle to reduce the number of red blood cells.
medication. The doctor may recommend the following medications:
- Low-dose aspirin reduces the risk of blood clots.
- Drugs that reduce the number of red blood cells
- Drugs that inhibit the action of JAK2 gene.
- Other symptomatic drugs, such as drugs to control symptoms such as itching.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions to take prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Follow the doctor’s guidance to gradually return to normal activities, and ask the medical staff what activities will not cause you harm.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions to exercise regularly.
- Check your limbs regularly for wounds that are not easy to heal.
- Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco, such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. If you need to quit smoking, please consult your doctor.
- It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions for all follow-up visits.
- Please contact the medical staff when the following manifestations occur:
- Discomfort (drug side effects) after taking the medicine.
- Symptoms change or worsen.
- Blood in the stool or vomiting blood.
Seek medical attention immediately in the following cases:
- Sudden severe abdominal pain.
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing.
- The appearance of stroke, such as:
- Sudden limb numbness
- Weakness in the face or arms
- Speech or comprehension difficulties
The above symptoms indicate that a serious and urgent situation may have occurred. Don’t expect the symptoms to go away on their own. You should call 120 for medical help immediately. Do not drive to the hospital by yourself.
- PV is a blood tumor, mainly due to excessive red blood cells produced by the bone marrow.
- The blood of PV patients is prone to clotting, so the risk of secondary stroke or heart disease is higher.
- PV is caused by genetic mutations, which can change the hematopoietic pattern of bone marrow.
- The diagnosis of PV depends on blood tests and bone marrow biopsy.
- There is no cure for PV at present, but related treatments can control the condition, and some blood needs to be released regularly and therapeutic drugs are taken.
(The above information cannot replace the advice provided by the doctor. The specific diagnosis and treatment issues need to be formulated by professional medical staff.)
(source:internet, reference only)