It’s important to focus on your overall health, which will help you better manage your PV:
Exercise and eat a healthy diet to maintain your weight. In general, the guidelines for people with PV are the same as for everyone else: eat a low-fat diet in sensible portions with fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
Drink plenty of fluids. It’s important to stay well hydrated to keep your blood from thickening. Plain water, non-alcoholic drinks and sugar-free beverages are among the best choices. Try to drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of fluids each day. It’s fine to sip them slowly throughout the day.
Avoid tobacco. Smoking can cause the blood vessels to narrow, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke due to blood clots. Smoking also can lead to lung and many other cancers, as well as the chronic lung disease emphysema.
Protect yourself from the sun. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps can damage your skin. Avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher. When you are outdoors, wear protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Take extra care of your hands and feet. People with PV who have poor circulation may be more prone to injuries from cold and heat. Wear warm gloves, socks and shoes during the winter months. Avoid hot tubs and heated whirlpools. Stay in close touch with your health care team. Your doctor has created a detailed treatment plan that will allow you to live a healthier and more productive life. To maintain your health, report to your health care team any new
Stick with your treatment plan. Be sure to keep all your appointments for blood tests, doctor’s visits and treatments such as phlebotomy or interferon injections. Adhering to the plan is the best way to improve your health and quality of life.
Potential Symptoms of PV That Should Be Reported to a Doctor Immediately
- Changes in vision or difficulty with speech
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Chest discomfort or difficulty breathing
- Severe pain or swelling in the stomach or spleen
- Swelling, tightness or redness in a limb, particularly the leg
- Change in color of the fingers or toes
- Bleeding or blood in the stool
- Weight loss
- Fevers or drenching sweats
- Symptoms of anemia such as lightheadedness or an increase in fatigue