Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. They also remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from your body's cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled.
Red blood cells are made in your bone marrow?a sponge-like tissue inside the bones. White blood cells and platelets (PLATE-lets) also are made in your bone marrow. White blood cells help fight infection. Platelets stick together to seal small cuts or breaks on blood vessel walls and stop bleeding.
If you have PV, your bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. It also can make too many white blood cells and platelets.
A mutation, or change, in the body's JAK2 gene is the major cause of PV. This gene makes a protein that helps the body produce blood cells. What causes the change in the JAK2 gene isn't known. PV generally isn't inherited?that is, passed from parents to children through genes.
PV develops slowly and may not cause symptoms for years. The disease often is found during routine blood tests done for other reasons.
When signs and symptoms are present, they're the result of the thick blood that occurs with PV. This thickness slows the flow of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body. Without enough oxygen, many parts of your body won't work normally.
For example, slower blood flow deprives your arms, legs, lungs, and eyes of the oxygen they need. This can cause headaches, dizziness, itching, and vision problems, such as blurred or double vision.
Inflammation is part of the body?s defense mechanism and plays a role in the healing process.
When the body detects an intruder, it launches a biological response to try to remove it.
The attacker could be a foreign body, such as a thorn, an irritant, or a pathogen. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, which cause infections.
Sometimes, the body mistakenly perceives its own cells or tissues as harmful. This reaction can lead to autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes.
Experts believe inflammation may contribute to a wide range of chronic diseases. Examples of these are metabolic syndrome, which includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
People with these conditions often have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
Inflammatory disorders include Henoch-Schonlein purpura and the vasculitis that occurs with paraproteins or cryoglobulins or in patients with systemic lupus erythematosis or other immune disorders.
Inflammation is a process by which your body's white blood cells and the things they make protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.
But in some diseases, like arthritis, your body's defense system -- your immune system -- triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage.