Polycythemia Symptoms and Treatment
Polycythemia is a condition in which there is an increase in the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells, which is measured as hematocrit level. It can be due to an increase in the mass of red blood cells (“absolute polycythemia“) or to a decrease in the volume of plasma (“relative polycythemia“) – [en.wikipedia.org].
True Polycythemia is a slowly progressive disease in which there are too many red cells, so that the blood becomes dark rather thick. The red blood count often rises from the normal 5,000,000 to over 10,000,000 per cubic millimeter. The true causes is unknown. Usually the patien complains of headache, weakness, dizzines, abdominal pains, and other distreasing symptoms. Stroke are fairly common, and in massive bleeding occur into stomach. The skin appeats dusky and blue or cyanotic, particularly in cold weather. Some patients with polycythemia also suffer from gout.
Polycythemia may sometimes accour in genital heart disease and also in chronic disease of the lungs.
The best treatment in phlebotomy in which some of the blood cell is drawn off at fairly frequent intervals. The patient must also be carefully watched for serious complications. There is still no cure for true polycythemia, although most patients can live more or less normal life, provided the excess blood is removed frequent enough to keep him free from serious complications.
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