Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension occurs when the pressure in the pulmonary circulation is elevated. This is usually caused by a constriction of the arteries that provide blood to the lungs. When there is a constriction, it will be difficult for the heart to pump the blood to the lungs and it will cause a stress on the heart. The complications that can result from pulmonary hypertension will include fluid buildup in the liver and legs among other tissues in the body.

When you are diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, the doctor will determine if there is an underlying cause for the condition or not. A primary pulmonary hypertension diagnosis means that there is no other cause for the hypertension. A secondary pulmonary hypertension diagnosis means that there is a condition that could be responsible. This type is more common than a primary diagnosis.

There are a number of conditions that could cause pulmonary hypertension such as heart disease, blood clots, lung disease and scleroderma to name a few. These causes of your pulmonary hypertension must be treated in addition to the treatment that you will get for your secondary pulmonary hypertension.

While there can be a number of causes for secondary pulmonary hypertension, there are no real causes for the primary form of this disease. It is commonly a fatal form of hypertension and it most often affects younger people.

The symptoms of pulmonary hypertension in the beginning stages are shortness of breath that increases with activity, cough, fatigue, dizziness and an overall feeling of lethargy. As the condition begins to worsen, the symptoms will also include leg swelling and fluid builds up and the shortness of breath may get worse. The patient may also feel chest pain as well.

Many times the condition is found when treating another condition that leads to it. The doctor will be looking for symptoms of pulmonary hypertension in these cases. There are also a number of tests that can indicate pulmonary hypertension that your doctor will perform if it is suspected.

The treatment for the condition will depend on the type of pulmonary hypertension that you have. If you have the secondary form, the treatment of the underlying condition will also treat the pulmonary hypertension at the same time. By eliminating the source of the condition, there is likely to be improvement.

Patients who are diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension will be treated with other types of therapy that will work to open up the arteries and reduce the pressure. There are a number of medications that are used to accomplish this and relieve the condition. While there are treatments that can relieve the condition, there is not a cure. Patients may also receive oxygen if they are in high altitude locations or when traveling on a plane.

One of the most important parts of treating primary pulmonary hypertension is an early diagnosis and treatment. The sooner the treatment is started the better the prognosis. The statistics can be grim for those with more severe cases or who are not responding to treatment. However, there may be a treatment that will work for you if you are diagnosed early.

Educate yourself on your condition if you have pulmonary hypertension and find out which form of the condition you have. The underlying cause of the hypertension is often the solution. The doctor will be looking for signs of the condition if you are being treated for one of the conditions that are known to cause pulmonary hypertension. Ask your doctor what you should look for at home if you are being treated for one of the underlying causes.

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Last updated on Aug 29th, 2009 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Pulmonary hypertension”

  1. Good information, thanks. Blood pressure and hypertension have been interests of mine for a long time, and I think that a solid, holistic approach is overall the most promising. Pulmonary hypertension is not necessarily an easily cured condition, but there are still clues in recent studies by the CHA and Stanford that you can treat it naturally with a substantial degree of success.

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