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Treatment of Blood Cancer
Treatment of Low Platelets
Treatment of Thalassemia
Treatment of Lymphoma
Treatment of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Treatment of Leukemia
Treatment of Hemophilia
Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
Treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma
Blood Disorders Treatment
Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia
Treatment of Thrombocytopenia
Treatment Of Aplastic Anemia
Stem Cell Transplant
Treatment of Polycythemia Vera
Treatment of Methemoglobinemia
Treatment of Blood Disorders
Management of Blood Disorders
Treatment of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria
Treatment of Neutropenia
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Polycythemia is a rare condition where the count of red blood cells in the body increases. The normal count of red blood cells ranges from 4.9-5.2 million cells per cmm. People having polycythemia witness an increase in the count of hemoglobin, hematocrit or red blood cells as compared to the normal level.
Women with hemoglobin levels higher than 16g/dL and hematocrit value higher than 48, are believed to have polycythemia. In case of men, hemoglobin levels higher than 16.5g/dL and hematocrit value greater than 49 are suggestive of polycythemia.
A myeloproliferative disorder that involves an uncontrolled red blood cells formation in the bone marrow is called as polycythemia vera. It is a slow growing cancer involving the blood cells. The cells growing in an excess quantity cause a thickening of blood and cause a reduction in the flow rate of blood. Thickening or clot formation can lead to a stroke or a cardiac arrest. This condition can develop and progress without any symptoms and go undiagnosed for a long period of time. Lack of prompt diagnosis and treatment can cause the condition to become life-threatening. It may also progress to other forms of cancers like acute leukemia.
The two main types of polycythemia are primary and secondary. Polycythemia vera is symptomless usually. When symptoms appear, the commonly seen ones are as follows – constant headache of mild to moderate intensity, itchy rashes on skin, bruises with bleeding points, lethargy, blurring of vision, excess sweating, joint swelling and excessive pain, unexpected weight loss, neuropathy in limbs, low to moderate grade fever and even shortness of breath. There is no specific age group predilection for its incidence, it can occur at any age. However, the prevalence rate is common in adults over 60 years of age. The male to female ratio of occurrence is also even, with no gender predilection.
Polycythemia vera is not completely curable, with the treatment being focused on reduction of red blood cell count. Symptomatic treatment allows for reducing the complications related to the presenting signs and symptoms. Phlebotomy is done where the blood volume is decreased by drawing out of blood from the veins. Thrombolytic drugs like low dose aspirin is given to break clots. Anti-cancer drug Ruxolinitib helps in the destruction of cancer cells to some extent.
What are the possible causes of polycythemia?
- Polycythemia occurs due to a genetic mutation of the protein called Janus kinase 2 or JAK2. This results in increased production of red blood cells.
- Another condition known as Primary Familial and Congenital Polycythemia (PFCP) is related to the mutation in the Erythropoietin Receptor (EPOR) which escalates the production of red blood cells in response to EPO.
- Deficiency of 2, 3-Bisphosphoglycerates (BPG) can increase red blood cell production in your body. Under this condition, hemoglobin develops an increased affinity to hold on to the oxygen, and is less likely to discharge it to the tissues. As a result more red blood cells are produced in response to insufficient oxygen levels.
Look out for the symptoms
The usual symptoms of polycythemia include the following-
- Minor bruising or bleeding
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
- Unintentional weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating or a feeling of fullness due to an enlarged spleen
- Numbness in the hands and feet
- Painful swelling of a joint
- Itching after a warm shower
The symptoms may vary from mild to severe. If left untreated, polycythemia can lead to severe health complications like scarring of the bone marrow, acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. Recognizing the symptoms at an early stage can help prevent the complications.
This disorder can cause various complications, formation of blood clots in the body being the most common of them. Formation of such blood clots in organs like lungs can cause an embolism or in the blood vessels can cause an obstruction to the blood flow. Deep vein thrombosis is a common complication caused by the presence of a thrombus formation due to blood clot in the veins of lower limbs. Polycythemia also causes splenomegaly due to increased exertion on the spleen by the uncontrolled growth of red blood cells. Other complications include formation of ulcers in the intestines, joint inflammation and development of more severe blood disorders.
How is polycythemia treated?
Treatment of polycythemia depends on its cause and severity.
Phlebotomy is the procedure whereby the doctor uses a needle to remove a tiny amount of blood from the vein. This decreases the volume and count of red blood cells so that excess blood cells are not formed, and oxygen is carried to different organs in the body.
People who are at high-risk, or have reached an advanced stage, require more specialized treatment. Certain medications used in the treatment of polycythemia include -
- Hydroxycarbamide - Prevents over production of red blood cells in the body.
- Interferon alpha - Helps combat the overactive bone marrow cells which are related to polycythemia vera.
- Busulfan - Although this drug is prescribed for the treatment of leukemia, it can also be used off- label to cure polycythemia.
- Ruxolitinib - This drug is usually prescribed when other medications like hydroxyurea have failed to lower the blood count. Ruxolitinib inhibits the growth factors which are responsible for producing red blood cells.
Other treatment procedures for easing symptoms like persistent itching may include antihistamines, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and phototherapy.
Haematology is a science, which deals with blood cells, its manufacturing unit (bone marrow) and its storage plus filter tank (spleen), and the system (lymph-nodes) which connects all three of them. Previously, people were not aware of the functioning of Haematology and its effectiveness. But as more and more research is beign conducted on this health care science, the modern world is introduced with this amazing stream of medical science.
Haematology can study and provide best curing measures for many severe diseases and one of the diseases, which are considered as the most dangerous is Thrombocytopenia. This is the condition in which the blood cell fragments known as platelets reduce. Difficulty faced by the body to clot the blood and stop the bleeding is a major symptom and when the platelet count reduces too much then mild to severe bleeding happens. Bleeding can be inside the body, on the surface of the body or underneath the skin as well.
How to control it?
The individuals suffering from lack of platelet count or Thrombocytopenia are advised some preventive measures to maintain the conditions from becoming severe.
- People should avoid the medicine that they know had decreased the platelet in the past.
- They should avoid alcohol consumption which slows down the production of platelets.
- Avoid contact with toxic chemicals like arsenic, pesticides or benzene as they can slow down the production of platelets.
- Be aware of the substances or medicines that may affect the counts of platelets or increases the risk of bleeding.
Haematology is very helpful for doctors to know the hidden causes of blood related diseases. To cure the low platelet count many effective medicines are available in the various health care systems. There are many haematology experts who are accomplished with their expertise in treating people. Patients of blood cancer should see the best doctor and get the best remedies to live a happy and pain free life.
Hemoglobin is a protein which transports oxygen to every cell of the body. It is formed by globulin chain molecules, wherein adults have two alpha-globulin chains and two beta-globulin chains and infants or babies have two alpha chains and two gamma chains. The gamma globulin chains transform into beta chains as the development in the baby occurs.
How can you improve your hemoglobin level?
Following are most the effective measures to improve hemoglobin level :
- Iron is necessary for hemoglobin production and red cell production. Thereby, intake of food which contains iron in excess amount needs to be taken, such as shellfish, beef, broccoli, tofu, spinach, green beans, cabbage, dates, beetroot, almonds, oysters, and asparagus etc.
- Folate is also very important for hemoglobin production. It produces heme portion of RBC’s. Thereby, intake of foods which are a rich source of folate should be incorporated, such as beef, spinach, black-eyed peas, avocado, lettuce, rice, kidney beans, peanuts etc.
- Intake of vitamin C should be increased in cases of vitamin C deficiency as it helps in iron absorption from the stomach. Foods which are rich in vitamin C like papaya, oranges, lemon, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, and spinach should be included in your diet. Also, you can take vitamin C supplements as per your doctor’s advice.
- Regular intake of some fruits in diet will also help you to increase the hemoglobin. Foods such as pomegranate, apple, watermelon will help in to improve hemoglobin count as they are a rich source of iron.
- Doing regular exercise will also help to improve to increases hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts. While exercising your body needs more amount of oxygen, and in order to compensate that body increases production of red blood cells.
- Do not take calcium supplements along with iron supplements as calcium hampers absorption of the iron, and also avoid taking calcium-rich food.
- All types of Legumes are best to plant foods, enriched with iron. Legumes, such as soy nuts, red kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, black beans, lentils, fava beans should be incorporated in the diet.
- Avoid intake of drinks which blocks iron absorption, and slow down its absorption like tea, coffee, cola drinks, wine, and beer. Excessive intake of all these drinks ultimately leads to low hemoglobin level.
- Drink nettle tea. Nettle is an herb which is a good source of iron, vitamin C and helps in raising hemoglobin level.
- Eat pumpkin seeds daily as their intake not only improves iron production, but also provides omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
- Increase the intake of iron-rich foods during, and after a menstrual period as a large amount of iron is lost during menstruation.
- Regular intake of iron and folate supplements only in deficient cases is the best way to improve your hemoglobin level. But it should be taken under doctor’s advice.