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How does polycythemia vera affect you?

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Polycythemia makes your blood thicken and slows down. When that happens, none of your body parts -- from your eyes to your toes -- get enough oxygen. This brings about the early symptoms of polycythemia vera, including dizziness, itchiness, and headaches.

Thicker blood also is more likely to form clots, a clump of blood that stops up a vein or artery. Blood clots can lead to life-threatening problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

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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How is polycythemia vera diagnosed?

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