Polycythemia vera is one of a group of diseases that are referred to as myeloproliferative disorders. Polycythemia vera is a blood disease that is marked by your bone marrow producing an excessive amount of red blood cells.
Polycythemia vera may also cause an overproduction of other kinds of blood cells, such as platelets and white blood cells. However, with polycythemia vera, it is the excessive amount of red blood cells that results in the thickening of your blood and that are responsible for most of the issues that are related to this disease.
Polycythemia vera is referred to in other ways. It is also known as cryptogenic polycythemia, erythrocytosis megalosplenica, myelopathic polycythemia, polycythemia with chronic cyanosis, Osler’s disease, Vaquez’s disease, splenomegalic polycythemia, erythremia, polycythemia rubra vera and primary polycythemia.
Polycythemia vera is brought about by a defect (mutation) that takes place in one of your bone marrow cells that leads to difficulty with blood cell production. Researchers believe that this defect affects a protein switch that makes your blood cells grow. Scientists believe that it is a defect that is referred to as the JAK2 V617F mutation.
More than 95% of the people who are afflicted with polycythemia vera also have this defect. However, researchers have not yet discovered what causes this mutation to take place. They do think that the defect is something that you acquire rather than inherit from your parents.
There are some risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing polycythemia vera. Some of these are:
- Being exposed to intense radiation
- Being older than age 60, although this disease may occur at any age of life
- Being a man, because men are twice as likely to get this disease as women are
- Having a family history of polycythemia vera.
If you have polycythemia vera, you may meet the medical requirements for social security disability like SSDI or SSI. The way to check on this is by looking at disabilitycasereview.com and getting the advice of one of the social security attorneys. The social security attorneys at disabilitycasereview.com are always ready to assist you in obtaining the disability benefits that you deserve.
In most cases, polycythemia vera does not produce any signs or symptoms at all in its early stages. However, as the disease advances, there are several different signs and symptoms that you may experience. Some of these include:
- A feeling of bloating or fullness in your upper left abdomen that is the result of an enlarged spleen
- Having problems with your breathing when you lie down
- Itching that is especially prominent after you have taken a warm shower or bath
- Headache and difficulty with your vision
- Redness of your skin
- Weakness, burning, numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, legs or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Purple patches or spots that show up on your skin
- Blockage of your blood vessels that may lead to gangrene of your legs and arms, stroke or heart disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)