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What can I do to keep myself healthy if I have polycythemia vera?

ANSWER

Along with your treatment plan, take these steps: Take these steps:

1. Don't smoke or chew tobacco. Tobacco makes blood vessels narrow, which can make blood clots more likely.

2. Get some light exercise, such as walking, to improve your circulation and keep your heart healthy.

3. Do leg and ankle exercises to stop clots from forming in the veins of your legs. Your doctor or a physical therapist can show you how.

4. Bathe or shower in cool water if warm water causes itching.

5. Keep your skin moist with lotion, and try not to scratch.

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Cancer Institute: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Polycythemia Vera."

MPN Research Foundation: "Polycythemia Vera."

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

New York-Presbyterian Hospital: "Polycythemia Vera."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Polycythemia Vera Diagnosed?"

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Cancer Institute: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Polycythemia Vera."

MPN Research Foundation: "Polycythemia Vera."

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

New York-Presbyterian Hospital: "Polycythemia Vera."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Polycythemia Vera."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Polycythemia Vera Diagnosed?"

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 19, 2020

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Does polycythemia vera lead to leukemia or myelofibrosis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.