What Are the Basics of Erythrocytosis?

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What is the definition of erythrocytosis?

Erythrocytosis is a condition in which your body makes too many red blood cells (RBCs), or erythrocytes. Too many red blood cells can make your blood thicker than normal and lead to blood clots and other complications.

There are two types of erythrocytosis: primary erythrocytosis and secondary erythrocytosis. Primary erythrocytosis can be inherited, and secondary erythrocytosis can be caused by the use of certain drugs.

 

What causes erythrocytosis?

Causes of erythrocytosis vary from type to type. Primary erythrocytosis is caused by a mutation in genes that control the number of the RBCs your bone marrow makes, the other cause may be polycythemia vera, which makes your blood become very thick.

The exact causes of secondary erythrocytosis are unknown. But factors that may increase people’s risk of getting secondary include smoking, tumors, medications, lack of oxygen, high altitudes, etc.

 

What are the symptoms of erythrocytosis?

Symptoms of erythrocytosis are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Nosebleeding
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased blood pressure

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