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Polycythemia Vera: Causes and Treatment

From the historical times to the present day era of today where everything is said to be changed irrespective the good or bad, not only mankind had undergone an progression but in order the diseases which is why new medical inventions are highly needed to counteract such issue. Diseases do not only invade a person externally but can also propagate internally as well such as blood vessels diseases. Blood vessels diseases are diseases that involve the mechanisms, functions, site of development, & most importantly the components of blood. Regarding to Hezy (2010), one of the major blood vessels disease is polycythemia Vera, also known as erythremia, primary polycythemia, and polycythemia rubra Vera. Polycythemia Vera is a myeloproliferative exceptional blood disease where the bone marrow produces high amount of erythrocytes and could also cause the overproduction of leukocytes or platelets triggering the bloodstream to be thicker and travels slower than normal. This is an extremely serious problem as sooner or later the individual would suffer from coronary attack or stroke as the probability of having a stroke or heart failing increase by 80% if the person is suffering from polycythemia Vera scheduled to blockage of arteries. Although polycythemia Vera is known as a very rare disease, it still happens in our midst despite its low possibility. Therefore, treatments are highly recommended as maybe it's fatal or lead to some other sort of diseases as well just because a subset of patients with polcythemia Vera may progress to acute myelogenous leukemia or myelofibribrosis mentioned by ClinicalKey (2012).

From the study of Ann Intern Med (2013), the reports shown that polycythemia Vera may appear in any individual irrespective age or gender but it has been proven that is it more prevalent among people who have the age group of 50 to 70 years. In overall, polycythemia Vera is more frequent in men than in women.

According to Vanasse G. , et al (2008), the data claimed from major commercial insurance payers in Connecticut and the guts for Medicare and Medicaid Services approximated that the amount of patients with polycythemia Vera is 22 per 100, 000 respectively for the age-standardized prevalence which is also estimated that there surely is a total of approximately 65, 200 patients with polycythemia Vera applying the age-specific prevalence to the whole US population in 2003 which is the first evaluated prevalence of polycythemia Vera in the top US population. Additionally, Brian J. S. , et al (2004) stated that a detailed review reported the incidence of polycythemia Vera to be 2. 3 per 100, 000 each year worldwide. After an intensive analysis, the seriousness of polycythemia Vera is underscored by the actual fact that the median success for untreated symptomatic patients is about six months to 1. 5 year but for treating patients, the median survival can be surprisingly prolonged to about seven to fifteen years.

Based on DoctorTipster (2011), there are many factors which could increase the threat of producing polycythemia Vera. First of all, increasing age is one of the unavoidable factors as the probability of expanding polycythemia Vera increase with era. Normally people around age 60 years tend to be more prone to this disease which is hardly found in people who are under twenty years of age. Secondly, it is a fact that polycythemia Vera effects with predilection men and minimal in women by comparison. Thirdly, people with medical history is also one of the chance factors that can result in polycythemia Vera. Most instances of polycythemia Vera are not inherited, it is associated with genetic changes that are somatic, means that they acquire during a person's life span and are just within certain cells and not transmitted or passed down generally from parents to children. However, in exceptional instances genealogy of polycythemia Vera especially relatives are reported to be the reason for the increase of risk for developing the condition. In these households, the risk of producing polycythemia appears to have an autosomal dominant style of inheritance. Autosomal dominant inheritance means that one copy of modified gene in each cell is enough to raise the risk of developing polycythemia Vera, although in these cases no causative genes have been recognized but these folks seem to inherit an elevated risk of polycythemia Vera, not the condition itself. Last but not least, the environmental conditions or standards of living also rely as a risk factor as well as polycythemia Vera can occur anticipated to different life-style or even different exposures to environmental conditions such as radiation. Exposure to intense radiation may actually boost the risk for the condition or even result in the disease because the primary reason for the development of disease is hereditary mutation. Lack of exercise or unsafe diet is only going to aggravate the body conditions as most of the individuals nowadays are already in bad shape because of neglecting healthcare for work and stress.

Pr Jean B. (2010), stated that the key source of deciding an individual either with or without polycythemia Vera is based on if the mutation happened in your body's genes which is the major reason behind polycythemia Vera. Polycythemia Vera happens due to presence of irregular clonal stem cell extension that suppresses the growth and maturation of normal stem cell which is a somatic mutation known as JAK2-V617F commonly in exon 14 of the JAK2 gene or in exon 12 which is less common. However, just what causes the mutation continues to be a subject of controversy. The presence of the V617F or a mutation of the JAK2 gene can be diagnosed because the gene actually functions to produce a protein that helps the body in producing bloodstream cells and so you will see an elevation in the quantity of white blood cells, platelets, hematocrit, hemoglobin, and most of all the red blood vessels cell mass which is approximately 125% greater compared with the normal. As a result, the blood can be wider and harder to pump which is very dangerous as it could relate to heart attack, heart stroke, and other health diseases.

Almost all the health problems associated with polycythemia Vera are induced by the bloodstream of the average person being unusually thick scheduled to overproduction of red blood cells in the torso. The condition is more prevalent in older people and can be either symptomatic or asymptomatic. TheFreeDictionary (2013), stated that normally you will see common signs and symptoms such as itching and severe using up pain in the hands or feet along with a reddish and bluish colouration of your skin most likely on the facial skin. Alas, patients with polycythemia Vera are also likely to develop gouty arthritis. As the development of polycythemia Vera is quite slow, signs or symptoms might not show for years. Therefore, the condition is often discovered when a blood vessels test is performed for other purposes. However, when the signs and symptoms are present due to the thickness of the blood slowing the flow of oxygenated bloodstream to all parts of the body and this will lead to numerous parts of the body efficiently with insufficient oxygen. As a result, you can experience head aches, dizziness, blurred or dual eye-sight, shortness of breath, numbness, itchiness especially after bathing with hot water, fatigue, and even more. Besides that, there are levels or stages where symptoms or effects are shown at various phases. The symptoms of the early polycythemia Vera may be nominal so it is not unconventional for the condition to be learned easily. Patients often experience symptoms like problems, confusion or impaired remembrances, inhaling difficulty, giddiness, vomiting, hypertension and much more which people would treat them like a small or a common issue. In a few patients' early medical indications include unusual heavy bleeding from minor slices, nosebleeds, pain in the bone, or abdominal ulcers but there are a few conditions the first symptoms is the introduction of blood clots within an unusual part of the circulatory system such as the liver. As the disease advances, the patients may have shows of thrombosis or hemorrhage where the proven fact that thrombosis is the most frequent cause of loss of life from polycythemia Vera. Other problems add a high amount of the crystals in the blood which increases the risk of getting other diseases. About 10% of the patients eventually develop gout and the other 10% develop peptic ulcers. Predicated on MayoClinic (2012), one of the effects of polycyhemia Vera is leading to the spleen to be greatly enlarged also known as splenomegaly as the spleen helps your body against attacks and filtration system unwanted materials such as old or ruined blood cells. Using the increased amount of blood cells triggered by polycythemia Vera, the spleen intends to work harder than normal which brings about spleen enhancement and the patient's spleen may even have the ability to fill the whole left side of the abdominal in the future. Therefore, the patients may have the feeling of fullness or bloated in the upper left part of the abdomen.

Where there is a problem, there will be solutions to overcome it. Based on the BodyandHealth. canada. com (1997), polycythemia Vera is cured with procedures, medicines, plus some other treatments. A person with polycythemia Vera might need a number of treatments to control this disease. The actual goals of treating this blood vessels disease are to control the symptoms and decrease the risk of difficulties especially heart inability and stroke so to be able to achieve the goal, the treatments for polycythemia Vera decrease the quantity of erythrocytes and the amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream which will make the thickness of the bloodstream to be much nearer to normal, thus lowering the chances of blood vessels clots in the arteries. For this disease, the most recommended treatment is phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is a procedure that takes out some blood from the body by inserting a needle into one of the veins and programs the blood into a sterile pot via an airtight pipe which is quite similar to the process of bloodstream donation. Through this treatment, the red blood vessels cell count number is reduced which brings the thickness of the blood nearer to normal. Typically, 1 product of blood vessels which is just about 350ml is removed weekly until the hematocrit level which is the way of measuring how much space red blood vessels cells occupied in the blood falls back again to normal and this process is normally completed every few months. The next treatment includes medications, the doctors may recommend certain medicines for example hydroxyurea and interferon-alpha that avoids the bone marrow from making way too many red blood skin cells. Hydroxyurea is a treatments generally used in treating tumors, it has the capacity to reduce the variety of red blood cells and platelets in the blood vessels whereas interferon-alpha is a chemical that our body usually produces to fast our immune system to fight against overactive bone marrow cells. Additionally, radiation treatment is also available as it can help to control overactive bone marrow cells which prevent them from making red blood vessels cells uncontrollably but this treatment is less recommended by doctors as the radiation treatment can improve the risk of leukaemia or other blood diseases. Another treatment is by firmly taking aspirin as aspirin can reduce bone pain and the burning up discomfort in the hands and foot credited to polycythemia Vera. Furthermore, aspirin also has the function to dilute blood so besides relieving pains it also thins the blood vessels causing the bloodstream to move better in the arteries. However, taking aspirin can have part effects without the controlling the total amount or dosage. For individuals who cannot resist the itching induced by polycythemia Vera, the doctor may also suggest ultraviolet light treatment to alleviate the itching.

As preventions are much better than cure, it will always be a better choice not to rely too much on medications or drugs when solving problems related to health but try using other methods instead when possible. Based on the NasionalHeartLung&Bloodinstitution (2011), people with polycythemia Vera should bathroom using cold water as it helps to reduce the discomfort of your skin. Then, remember to pat your body dry gently after bathing because vigorous rubbing with a towel can also irritate the skin as well. Finally, one can also take starch baths with the addition of half a package of starch to a tub of lukewarm water because starch baths can actually help to soothe the skin. Besides taking trivial steps in daily activities, there are other ways to prevent or decrease the threat of one getting polycythemia Vera. First of all moderate physical activities such as walking and stretching out is required to maintain a healthy heart rate also to improve blood flow in the body. By improving the blood streaming in the body, the risk of blood clots can be minimized. Carrying out a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of heart and lung disease, will help prevent one from producing secondary polycythemia. Sometimes, extra polycythemia can be prevented by keeping away from activities that will deprive our bodies of air for long periods such as rock climbing, smoking or other vigorous activities and sports activities.

As a finish, polycythemia Vera is a chronic, and dangerous disease that can be quite definitely fatal if not diagnosed and cured well. Although this disease does not have any get rid of, at least until today but the treatments provided can help control the disease and its problems thus extend more lives. However, it is wiser that people as who owns our own health should carry most of the responsibilities somewhat than just counting on doctors and medications when problems happen as 'an ounce of protection is worth a pound of treat'.

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