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Polycythemia (High Red Blood Cell Count) (cont.)

Polycythemia Symptoms

Symptoms of polycythemia can vary widely. In some people with polycythemia, there may be no symptoms at all.

In secondary polycythemia, most of the symptoms are related to the underlying condition responsible for polycythemia.

Symptoms of polycythemia vera can be vague and quite general. Some of the important symptoms include:

  • easy bruising;

  • easy bleeding;

  • blood clot formation (potentially leading to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots in the lungs [pulmonary embolism]);

  • bone and joint pain (hip pain or rib pain);

  • headache;

  • itching;

  • itching after taking a shower or bath (post-bath pruritus);

  • fatigue;

  • dizziness; and

  • abdominal pain.

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