Does A High Red Blood Cell Count Happen With MS?

5 Answers

Arianna Vaccaro Profile
Arianna Vaccaro answered
A high red blood cell count (polycythemia) is not a recognized symptom of MS.

A high red blood cell count can either have a primary or a secondary cause.  Primary polycythemia is caused by intrinsic factors and secondary polycythemia is caused by external factors.  Primary polycythemia is a rare growth disorder of the bone marrow and secondary polycythemia is caused by conditions with another underlying medical problem, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

There is also relative polycythemia, which is when the red blood cell count seems high as a result of dehydration due to vomiting, excessive sweating or diarrhea, and stress polycythemia, which is due to low plasma volume.

The are often no or minimal symptoms of a high red blood cell count but they can include weakness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, itching, bruising and joint pain.  The potentially serious complications that may occur include blood clots, thrombosis and hemorrhaging.

The treatment for a high red blood cell count is based on the cause.  Hydrea (hydroxyurea) is a commonly recommended medication.  Simple measures you can take at home include staying well hydrated, thus avoiding concentrating the blood even further, and avoiding iron supplements as these can promote the production of more red blood cells.  It is also wise to stop smoking and avoid prolonged carbon monoxide exposure.  You should consult your doctor for professional advice.

Symptoms of MS vary widely but may include blurred vision, muscle weakness, numbness/loss of sensation, forgetfulness, respiratory problems and involuntary leg movements.  The MS Society's National Helpline number is 0808 800 8000, or see www.mssociety.org.uk
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My 76 yr old mom was diagnosed with polycythemia vera about a year ago; she had 3-4 phlebotomy sessions to relieve the blood levels and was being managed. Recently she has high RBC and platelets, including large RB cells, AND continues to have Low hemoglobin/ anemia. Hx includes extremely low vit D, post-polio.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Justme, Why on earth do you have to sound so nasty in your response to this person who is looking for answers? I will tell you something else. I was recently diagnosed with MS and I DID absolutely have fever attacks. My docs (all of them) tell me that MS is different with each patient and what one experiences may not be anything close to how it effects someone else.  They say the biggest mistake an MS patient can make is to compare themselves with other MS patient because we all experience different symptoms.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have a high platelet count, also have MS. Would like to know if they connected? I take Hydroxyurea for platelet count and Lyrica for my MS.
Thank you, Marie
ray of light Profile
ray of light answered
The multiple sclerosis is an auto immune disease of nervous system. It starts with optic neuritis and fever attack. After treatment of this, another attack of these symptoms takes place. Then start disability. In this disease the myelin sheath of neuron is lost. The white blood cell count is low. The high red blood cells are of not great concern in MS patients.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I am just confused. Thought first I had fibro but now I am getting so much tingling in my extremeties and head,good for about 2 hours when I get up but fatigue very quickly,blurring vision,I'll start doing something and all of a sudden wonder what I was doing or I can't remember how to do it. My legs sometimes feel so numb that I feel like I am going to fall and sometimes do trip........ plus I ache like all get out. All I know is that I need some answers because I am getting soooooooooo frustrated!! I have always had anxiety issues since I was about 15 and then when I started menopause the racing thoughts started and mood swings. This all is something else! Now I am wondering whats up with the red blood cells; but at least that doesn't seem to be related to MS as you have explained. By the way thank you for your input. All helps!!!!
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
Um, excuse me, but MS doesn't "start with optic neuritis and fever attack". I have MS and know this for a fact. I know this is an old question, but i would hate for people to be so misinformed.

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