Constant Headache and blood pressure has gone up - do you think my Hct levels are rising

Hi all

I do not get to see the consultant again till mid November and not had venesection since mid July which will be about 16 weeks. Last time the gap between venesection and next blood test was 12 weeks and in that time the hct had gone back up from 45 to just over 50 again. I have had this constant headache and feeling unwell for a few days now and am beginning to think the Hct must be going up again. What do you think?

13 Replies

  • Hi Chrissie10

    Please seak medical advice, headaches for several day should not be ignored. I'ts allways good to play it safe even if its just neurological and else to worry about its best to get a once over.

    P.S. You can call NHS Direct by dialing 111 via your land line or mobile phone for free. But I honestly don't know if they r any good or not.

  • I'd get a blood test quickly - via your GP and say it's urgent, or phone your haem dept and get the hospital to do it

  • Hi Chrissie, it is always advisable to seek medical advice from either your GP or your haematologist when you are feeling unwell and especially as you are experiencing a constant headache. Maz

  • Hello Chrissie10, I am sorry I can't help you as I don't know what you mean by Hct but hope you get some advice soon to help you feel better.

  • Hi Aberbrothock, sorry for using Hct, this is Haematocrit, which is the packed volume level of red blood cells which those with PV need to keep below 45 if possible.

  • Thank you all for your replies: - went to GP and got blood tests, which have all come back normal (which surprised me to be honest) Iron levels are low, but GP thinks it is all emotional. GP reckons that i am struggling to cope with polycythemia/treatment/loss of my Mum earlier this year and has put me back onto antidepressants. Will just have to give it a go and see how i feel.

  • Hi Chrissie, it is good to hear your blood levels are okay. I lost both my mum and dad within 6 weeks of one another last year - Dad died on xmas day so I know exactly how you feel. I am on setraline which is an anti-anxiety pill and find it has helped me enormously in looking at things more rationally and not jumping through the roof every time my phone rings - which I associate with bad news!! Take care, it does get a bit easier to know that your loved ones are not suffering in any way - they are at peace, which I find is a great comfort. Kind regards and best wishes Aime

  • Hi Aimee, Thank you for your reply. I am very sorry to hear about your parents, that must and still be absolutely horrendous for you. I know my Mum going (which was unexpected) was very difficult for me and I thought I was actually coping quite well with all that is and has been going on, but maybe not as well as i thought ;-). I have a habit of coping very well (unconsciously) and then all of a sudden i go down hill rapidly. Started anti depressants yesterday and slept pretty well, so just waiting for the headache to go away now.

  • Hi Chrissie, I think we all put on a brave coping face for the rest of the family. You have a lot to cope with - grief and an illness, not easy. My "happy" pills as I call them, have really helped me, hope yours do also. Kind regards Aime x

  • Hi Chrissie,

    I'm well pleased that it's nothing serious, and I apologise for my initial panic (I assume you read the post about my fear regards to thrombosis. ) Sorry I should not have thrown my feelings and fears towards you ( I should know better) I edited it all out about ten past two this afternoon.

    It's such a relief that you're ok.

    Anaemia can be quite uncomfortable, rapid heart beat , extra breathlessness etc...

    I never thought about how the stress of what we have can be managed... uum... lots of things going through my mind now..

    So.. its great that your ok!, and even better that you are clearly free to be the you that you are..

    We are not defined by our health, but we are defined by who we are.

    (I'm still learning lol)

  • Hi Infuseme, thank you so much for replying, don't worry at all about your post yesterday, in some ways it did remind me to make sure that I might have to let the medics know about the possible problems that I could have and that the medical profession are not always that knowledgeable about PV etc and that I may have to spell things out to them. They cant know everything about every possible illness can they!. I think i did have a bit of a panic with the constant headache as I have tried to make myself more aware of possible problems with PV and not to disregard feeling unwell etc as there "might" be more serious consequences now. I suppose I just need to learn the right balance, but saying that I was surprised the GP said that the headache was most probably nothing to do with PV!!

    Anyway I will stop rambling on now :-). Its lovely to know that people on here do read posts and offer very good advice. Thank you once again :-)

  • Sorry to sound stupid but what is PV?

  • Polycythaemia Vera which is a blood cancer with too many red blood cells (and usually too many platelets and white cells) which can cause dangerous blood clots if not treated. Google for more information.

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