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Polycythemia

(9 Posts)
TeenageCentaurMortificado Fri 24-Feb-17 17:04:18

Does anyone have any knowledge of this? Secondary most likely.

My question is, if patient was a smoker and then stopped, and assuming smoking was the likely cause of the secondary polycythemia, how quickly would you expect to see if difference in the haemoglobin concentration?

I have another millionth blood test scheduled for next Thursday. I stopped all smoking this Monday evening. So will be 9 days ...

Too soon?

I don't want to get too hopeful as if it doesn't at least start to return to normal levels then I'll be convinced I have something more sinister causing it sad

Also, I've quit the fags grin we all know it's bloody bad for your health but I REALLY need to see the results and therefore will never smoke again!

On a positive note, I definitely feel so much better today (and rather suddenly) than I have in months and some of my more persistent symptoms have subsided. Hopefully not just a random one off.

TeenageCentaurMortificado Sat 25-Feb-17 18:54:33

Shamelessly bumping my own post as a distraction to really wanting a cig but I'm not gonna!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 25-Feb-17 19:05:22

The only thing I know about polycythemia is that my DF had it - there never seemed to be any suggestion of a sinister cause, it didn't seem to cause him many problems and he died at 86 of something else.

Anyway... glad you're feeling better today and well done on quitting smoking!

Skyllo30 Sat 25-Feb-17 19:06:47

Red blood cells have a life span of 2-3 months so 9 days is a bit optimistic! Well done on quitting smoking though. smile

TeenageCentaurMortificado Sat 25-Feb-17 19:19:57

3 months! Gah! Surely they must be expecting a change if I keep being sent for bloods up to twice a week every week?

Thanks for the responses though grin

Having a few minor symptoms but yep so far I still feel better than I've done in months. Whether the not smoking has helped or not I will take that!

insan1tyscartching Sat 25-Feb-17 21:57:05

Dh stopped smoking when he was diagnosed with polycythaemia, it did improve his condition for a short while but has since been diagnosed with essential thrombocythaemia and polycythaemia rubra vera and has been taking chemotherapy tablets for more than ten years to control it. The chemo is controlling his platelets but it's hammering his liver and he's anaemic rather than polycythaemic now as his red blood cells are enlarged.
Congratulations though on stopping star

Brieandgrapes Sat 25-Feb-17 22:55:59

What are your symptoms if you dont mind me asking? My Aunt has this but has a range of other conditions so unsure what symptoms are from this. She was on chemo medication for it and now has radiation injections for it. I know her blood results can change week to week, she is tested every 3 weeks to monitor her.

TeenageCentaurMortificado Sun 26-Feb-17 08:55:34

I think the symptoms are extremely varied from person to person and also depend on the type of polycythemia as there are different forms. Some people have it and don't present any symptoms.
For me, bone crushing tiredness, general aches and pains, light headedness, numb left arm accompanied by pins and needles, numb tingly left side of face, feeling like I'm not breathing as I should be, general feeling of being unwell but can't put finger on what/why.

The last few days most have lifted for me except the pains. My legs and hands still hurt and in fact it now feels like it has intensified a little.

All the usual scary causes of the left arm/face tingly ruled out by the way 😄

silentsigh Sun 26-Feb-17 09:04:03

I had this caused by chronic hypoxia (I have hypoventilation, particularly at night). Once I started on a machine that assists breathing at night, my blood improved a within a few weeks, maybe less. I'm not sure whether that would differ with smoking being the cause. I felt very fatigued and generally unwell and that's got a lot better now.

Congrats on giving up smoking, that's a huge achievement smile

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