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Does Polycythemia Vera Cause Hair Loss

How Do Blood Disorders Affect My Body

Polycythemia vera – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Your blood is made of both liquids and solids. The liquid part contains water, proteins and salt. When a part of your blood doesnt do its job, a blood disorder can develop. Blood disorders tend to involve:

  • The red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets that make up the solid part of your blood.
  • The blood proteins that play a role in clotting.

People with red blood cell disorders dont have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to their organs. They may feel cold, tired or weak.

People with white blood cell disorders may feel ill and are at increased risk of developing infections.

People with platelet disorders have trouble with bleeding or clotting.

When To Contact Your Team

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will go through the possible side effects. They will monitor you closely during treatment and check how you are at your appointments. Contact your advice line as soon as possible if:

  • you have severe side effects
  • your side effects arent getting any better
  • your side effects are getting worse

Early treatment can help manage side effects better.

We haven’t listed all the side effects here. Remember it is very unlikely that you will have all of these side effects, but you might have some of them at the same time.

Hypothyroidism And Polycythemia Vera

A possible connection may also exist between Hypothyroidism and Polycythemia Vera, but there is still an insignificant amount of scientific evidence to provide accurate data on this link. A publication on eHealthMe9 explains that data from the FDA provided more insight into this possible connection. All patients observed to suffer from both Polycythemia Vera and Hypothyroidism were male and older than 60.

It was also found that the patients who suffered from both of these conditions, had certain co-existing medical concerns that were common amongst the monitored patients. These co-existing medical conditions include high blood pressure, chronic myeloid leukemia, hyperuricemia, and embolism venous.

The most common clinical symptoms that were observed amongst these patients included a positive test result for anti-thyroid antibodies, a reduced level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone was observed in the blood of the patients, and high blood sugar levels were also observed. A

reduction in Thyroxine levels in the blood, as well as triiodothyronine was also observed amongst the patients. This data provided clear evidence that patients were, in deed, suffering from a deficiency in Thyroid hormones thus they have met the criteria for a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. The addition of high red blood cell counts, as well as other tests, provided further evidence that Polycythemia Vera was also present amongst the patients.

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What Tests Confirm The Diagnosis Of Polycythemia

Polycythemia diagnosis

Polycythemia may be diagnosed incidentally on routine blood work. Hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell concentration are typically found on a complete blood count . Repeating the laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis is usually advised to rule out possible laboratory or drawing errors.

More importantly, the cause of polycythemia needs to be determined. Medical history and physical examination are important components of the evaluation of polycythemia. The history usually includes questions about smoking history, living at high altitudes for extended periods, breathing difficulties, sleep disturbances, or chronic cough. Other parts of the history may focus on a prior diagnosis of lung disease, heart disease, kidney or liver cancer, bleeding or clotting problems.

A complete physical examination — including the assessment of body habitus , vital signs, oxygen saturation, heart and lung exams, and evaluating for an enlarged spleen — is essential in the evaluation of people with polycythemia.

Evidence of a long-standing low body oxygen level is an important clue in patients with polycythemia. Signs of long-standing hypoxia may include cyanosis , clubbing of the fingers , or pursed lip breathing. Redness of the palms and soles may be another sign of polycythemia.

Polycythemia vera diagnosis

Who’s At Risk Of Polycythaemia Vera

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Term watch

Essential thrombocythaemia : a high platelet count, causing the blood to become sticky.

Myelofibrosis : fibrous tissues scar and stiffen the bone marrow leading to reduced cell production and an enlarged spleen.

PV is predominantly a disease of the middle-aged and elderly population. It is very rare in children. PV affects about one to two new patients per 100,000 of the population per year.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Polycythemia Vera

When you have more blood and it is thicker than normal, problems can occur. Each persons symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

  • Lack of energy or weakness
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • High blood pressure

These symptoms may look like other blood disorders or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Thrombosis And Secondary Thromboprophylaxis

Acute vascular events should be managed according to the current guidelines. Patients with venous thromboembolism should be given lowmolecular-weight heparin at therapeutic doses followed by warfarin, with the aim of keeping Prothrombin Time International Normalized Ratio in the conventional therapeutic range . Close clinical and laboratory monitoring has been recommended because of a potentially greater bleeding risk and unpredictable drug influences in MPD patients. However, it is still not clear whether to give warfarin for 3 to 6 months, according to standard practice, or to continue with long-term prophylaxis, considering that MPD is an important persistent risk factor for thrombotic recurrences. Life-long warfarin prophylaxis has been advocated for patients with AVT. ,

Symptomatic patients presenting with severe microvascular circulation disturbances, such as erythromelalgia, should immediately be treated with a loading dose of aspirin followed by a lower maintenance dose . Low-dose aspirin therapy is also recommended for patients with a recent major arterial vascular event or for whom there is clinical and laboratory evidence of coronary artery disease, provided there is no contraindication to antiplatelet therapy.,

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How Are Blood Disorders Diagnosed

Your hematologist uses your medical history, a physical examination and laboratory testing to assess blood disorders. Your provider may order several blood tests, including a complete blood count to measure how much hemoglobin is in your blood, the shape and size of red blood cells, and how many different types of white blood cells and platelets that are in your blood.

Your provider may order other, more specific tests to check for specific blood disorders like von Willebrand disease and polycythemia vera.

In rare cases, your provider may order a bone marrow biopsy.

Sometimes diagnosing clotting disorders can be difficult. You may have bleeding symptoms, but even after extensive testing no abnormalities can be identified. This can be frustrating for you and your healthcare provider, especially when deciding whether or not it’s safe to proceed with surgery. Despite these difficulties, coagulation medicine is an area of intense research and much progress has been made in just the last decade.

Raised Levels Of Uric Acid

Polycythemia Vera (PV) | Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) | Erythrocytosis

This treatment may cause the cancer cells to break down quickly. This releases uric acid into the blood. The kidneys usually get rid of uric acid, but may not be able to cope with large amounts. Too much uric acid can cause swelling and pain in the joints, which is called gout.

Your doctor may give you allopurinol tablets to help prevent this. Drinking at least 2 litres of fluid a day will also help. You will have regular blood tests to check the uric acid levels.

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The Possible Connection Between Thyroid Disorders And Polycythemia Vera

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the general population, affecting both men and women of all ages.

There are different types of disorders and diseases that can affect the Thyroid. Since the Thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that are essential for overall metabolism, any disorder that causes changes in the way hormones are secreted by this gland can lead to unpleasant complications.

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism are the two most common types of conditions to affect the Thyroid gland.

  • Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed when the Thyroid gland produces too much Thyroid hormones in a patient. This results in elevated levels of thyroxine in the bloodstream5, causing metabolism to speed up at a cellular level. Several functions in the body can speed up, leading to an increase in appetite, weight loss, tremors, anxiety, sweating, a faster heartbeat, more frequent bowel movements, and agitation6.
  • Hypothyroidism is the opposite of Hyperthyroidism. While the Thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine in patients with Hyperthyroidism, a patient with Hypothyroidism rather has a deficiency in Thyroid hormones. This causes metabolism of cells in the patients body to slow down thus overall functions of organs and other bodily tissues can become impaired. Hypothyroidism may cause symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, as well as weight gain, dry hair, dry skin, hair loss, muscle cramps, depression, irritability and constipation7.

Is There A Link Between Thyroid Disorders And Polycythemia Vera

The blood circulatory system has vital roles to play in the body.

This system delivers blood that is rich in oxygen to all parts of the body, including every vital organ found in the body. When the blood circulatory system is affected by any particular health condition, then complications with the human bodys overall well-being is sure to develop.

Being deprived of oxygen and a steady flow of blood is known to contribute to a great number of diseases, and can even lead to fatal complications.

Polycythemia Vera, sometimes simply referred to as PV, is a condition that can have a hazardous impact on the blood circulatory system, causing the brain, the heart, and other vital parts of the human body to become deprived of oxygen-rich blood.

The condition is extremely rare, but still noteworthy. The complications that Polycythemia Vera causes can have many side-effects in store for a patient suffering from the condition, and can also cause them to experience a significant increase in their likelihood to have a stroke or a heart attack.

Today, we want to look at how the function of the Thyroid gland, and conditions that adversely affect the Thyroid gland, may share a connection to Polycythemia Vera. We will consider the common types of Thyroid disorders, and look at how they may have a link to Polycythemia Vera.

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Hyperthyroidism And Polycythemia Vera

Hyperthyroidism, as previously explained, is a condition where an elevated level of Thyroid hormones is produced by the Thyroid gland in the patients body. In turn, many processes in the body can start to work faster. The complications that may be caused by the speedup in bodily functions can be detrimental to the overall health, as well as day-to-day capabilities, of the affected patient.

Some evidence has suggested that Hyperthyroidism may be a risk factor for Polycythemia Vera, as explained by a contributed on TiredThyroid.com8.

The patient had been diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera later on, it was discovered that the patient was suffering from Erythrocytosis and not Polycythemia Vera, as previously diagnosed. This condition causes similar symptoms and complications as Polycythemia Vera, explaining the initial misdiagnosis.

The cause of the condition was later on tracked to the synthetic Thyroid hormones the patient was taking. An inappropriate dosage of Thyroid hormones for the treatment of Hypothyroidism can cause levels of thyroxine in the bloodstream to become too high thus leading to similar effects as Hyperthyroidism in the body.

When pharmaceutical treatments for Hypothyroidism is causing too much thyroxine to be present in the patients body, and, in turn, causing symptoms associated with Erythrocytosis or Polycythemia Vera, then an appropriate treatment approach would be to lower the dose of synthetic Thyroid hormones.

The Epidemiology Of Polycythemia Vera

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Polycythemia Vera is a relatively rare blood disease that does not affect as much of the population as diseases like arthritis and lung cancer, but it is still worth looking into the epidemiology of the condition.

There is not a significant amount of data available to provide a 100% accurate figure on the prevalence of Polycythemia Vera, but some studies have provided estimates based on the review of medical records from numerous health institutes.

One review paper2 published by the Yale University School of Medicine concluded that approximately 65,243 individuals in the United States were suffering from the condition in 2003. Newer publications about updated figures have not yet been revealed, but according to this data, it is already relatively easy to determine the rarity of the condition.

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What Are The Most Common Types Of Blood Disorders

Benign blood disorders include bleeding disorders, red blood cell disorders like anemia, and white blood cell disorders. Other blood disorders can cause chronic illness or are life-threatening like sickle cell anemia, leukemia and lymphoma.

Bleeding disorders

Platelets form clots and help control bleeding. Bleeding disorders are uncommon. If you have a bleeding disorder, you may have too much bleeding during or after injury or surgery. Bleeding disorders can be acquired, or caused by medications or medical conditions. Some are caused by your genes. Sometimes, there is no known cause for bleeding disorders.

Red blood cell disorders

Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. You can develop a red blood cell disorder if a component of these blood cells is not working properly. Red blood cell disorders include:

White blood cell disorders

White blood cells are mainly produced in the bone marrow. Unless you have an infection or a blood disorder, you produce about 100 billion white blood cells each day. There are five types of white blood cells: basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils. Each type of white blood cell has its own special function in your blood.

Blood disorders involving abnormally low levels of white blood cells are called leukopenias. If you have leukopenia, you are at increased risk for infections.

A blood disorder involving abnormally high levels of white blood cells is called leukocytosis.

What Is A Haematological Disease

Haematological diseases are a diverse range of conditions affecting the constituents of blood. This includes disorders of the blood cells and cancerous conditions affecting these blood cells. Skin signs of haematological disease described here are helpful in diagnosis and may also cause complications.

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Plasma Cell And Immunoglobulin Disorders

Multiple myeloma can rarely present with cutaneous plasmacytoma.

POEMS syndrome presents with Polyneuropathy, Organomegaly, Endocrinopathy, M protein and Skin changes. There is plasma cellproliferation and signs are mediated by overproduction of cytokines and other inflammatory markers.

Cryoglobulins are immunoglobulins that precipitate in cold temperatures. They result in palpable purpura and hyperviscosity syndrome with Raynaud phenomenon. Cryoglobulinaemia is classified as:

Cold agglutins are cold-sensitive immunoglobulins directed against antigens on red cells. They can lead to Raynaud phenomenon and acrocyanosis.

Skin signs of plasma cell disease


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