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Does polycythemia vera cause low oxygen levels?

ANSWER

Yes. Your blood carries oxygen around your body. Polycythemia vera slows blood flow, which makes it hard for oxygen to reach your organs.

Signs that your body isn't getting enough oxygen include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Vision changes, such as flashes of light
  • Chest pain

Polycythemia vera treatments can improve blood flow and oxygen transport to prevent these symptoms.

SOURCES:

American College of Gastroenterology: "Peptic Ulcer Disease."

Cancer Care: "Managing Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera (PV)."

Khan, F. Anaesthesia, Pain & Intensive Care, 2012.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Myelofibrosis Facts."

Medscape: "Polycythemia Vera Clinical Presentation," "Polycythemia Vera Treatment & Management."

MPN Research Foundation: "What is Primary Myelofibrosis (MF)?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Polycythemia Vera Treated?" "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera?"

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Questions and Answers About Gout."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Polycythemia Vera."

News release, FDA.

Patrono, C. Blood, 2013.

The Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium: "FAQ: About Polycythemia Vera."

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Polycythemia Vera."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

SOURCES:

American College of Gastroenterology: "Peptic Ulcer Disease."

Cancer Care: "Managing Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera (PV)."

Khan, F. Anaesthesia, Pain & Intensive Care, 2012.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: "Myelofibrosis Facts."

Medscape: "Polycythemia Vera Clinical Presentation," "Polycythemia Vera Treatment & Management."

MPN Research Foundation: "What is Primary Myelofibrosis (MF)?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Polycythemia Vera Treated?" "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera?"

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Questions and Answers About Gout."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Polycythemia Vera."

News release, FDA.

Patrono, C. Blood, 2013.

The Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium: "FAQ: About Polycythemia Vera."

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Polycythemia Vera."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

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