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What are the symptoms of polycythemia vera?

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  • Because polycythemia vera grows slowly, you might have it for years without knowing it. When you do see symptoms, they may not seem all that unusual. In fact, they’re the same as with many other illnesses: Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Itchiness, often after a warm bath or shower
  • More sweating than normal, sometimes at night
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing when you lie down
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Brief vision problems, like seeing flashes

You may also have:

  • Bloating or a feeling of fullness on the upper left side of your belly
  • Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or more menstrual bleeding than normal
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands and feet
  • Problems with your vision, like seeing double or things seeming blurry
  • Reddened face
  • Swelling and pain in one joint, usually your big toe

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Polycythemia Vera.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Explore Polycythemia Vera.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center: “Polycythemia Vera.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Health Library: “Polycythemia Vera.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Polycythemia Vera.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Explore Polycythemia Vera.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center: “Polycythemia Vera.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Health Library: “Polycythemia Vera.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

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Can polycythemia vera cause other health problems?

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