PV and sport: Hello all, i'm 58, suffer of PV... - MPN Voice

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PV and sport


Hello all, i'm 58, suffer of PV discovered 10 years ago, and I'm on hydroxicarbamide in last year 2times be done flebotomie because overpassed limits of hematocrit (low)

I like skiing during the winter and practicing fittness so to compensat my long stay in front of comp during work . Does anybody know if this effort could increase the level of red cells? The young doc. tell me that only lack of hidratation could be. Thank you in advance for your replys

12 Replies

Hi cata,

I have no idea if exercise would increase your haematocrit levels. Maybe it’s just the nature of PV to behave in this manner at times. I have ET, so not much help.

I hope someone with more knowledge can answer your question.

Wishing you well

Mary x

cata in reply to mhos61

Thank you anyway

Sounds unlikely: go with the exercise!

cata in reply to jane13

Thanks Jane

Hello I believe being at higher altitudes affects red blood cells by increasing them to make up for lack of oxygen. I’m 46 with PV and snowboard as much as I can in the winter I usually stay at lower altitudes but this isn’t because of my PV. Keep on exercising and enjoying this amazing sport.

cata in reply to Jasbak22

It's interesting what you said, I birth in small mountain locality but around 30 years I worked and school in field cities and now I came back , during this time I heard about many person having blood disease just 2 days ago, my mum, told me about 2 person having Leukemia. You remind me that the mountain air could kill, many guys come here for the air . Thank you for encouraging me for skiing because I love it


I have pv and if you only needed 2 phlebotomies last year, then i would think that is great. I get one monthly and am on hydroxy.

Red blood cell production is impacted by an iron rich diet. So if your levels were high it could be a result of your diet.

My hematocrit levels swing from 36 to 45 and back. I track what i do and eat but not sure yet what impacts me.

Sports will help improve your bodies ability to use oxygen.

When your levels were high had you changed your level of activity? That could account for the change maybe.

Also it is the nature of pv too behave this way.

Happy skiing!

Hi cata,

I think it’s all down to the individual. I toured the Andes in Peru. We went far higher than you would on a ski holiday.

Just eat healthily and if you are worried get your bloods checked before and after.

Don’t give up on what you enjoy!


Hi Cata, this is a very late reply but i came by your post by accident: high altitude definitely makes your hematocrit go up: even as high as 1200 meter gives a big increase ( depending also on the amount of time) i had to leave the place i used to live for bigger part of the year since the altitude made my red bloodcell count go up above the limits . they went down after three months when the epo levels (your body starts making it at higher altitudes to compensate for lower oxygen levels) goes back to normal .)

cata in reply to Gabrielle79

Hi Gabriele, I thank you very much for your answer is very interesting,I live in a small mountain town at 1800 m altitude and I Found over a period of several years, 3 of my childhood friends from this city or died due to blood diseases.

I would be curious to tell you how you came to the conclusion that the altitude above 1,200 m is dangerous for the blood?

is the first time someone confirms my fears that the mountain would be dangerous for blood.



Gabrielle79 in reply to cata

hi Caitlin, I will send u this link:


this article shows the ( bad) influence altitude has on people who have PV. I experienced it myself when I lived at 1200 m altitude. last year I went for 3 month to 1600 m: I had to return urgently to Holland ( below sea level) due to fast rising values ( and symptoms).

it is also logical, ( because of epo we naturally make at high altitude)

The altitude does not cause the bloodcancer but if you have it and your redbloodcell line is already (too) high the altitude makes it worse..

Thank you Gabriele for your kind reply and for the link you sent me

Unfortunately, I do not have the necessary knowledge to understand everything very well What he writes there But your conclusion seems to me sufficient and

to understand that the increase of the altitude can increase also the hematocrit

and it worsens the disease.

Thanks again for the information and I would like to stay in touch.

Regards , Catalin


With some corrections,

is not a city where I m living is a small town at 850 m altitude , I'm skiing usualy at 1800 m

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