Pulmonary Hypertension - What You Need to Know

Patient Expert

A person suffering from a heart or lung disorder is liable to experience high blood pressure. The walls of the blood vessels and arteries located in the lung area tend to constrict due to a primary disorder, hence the patient becomes doubly afflicted as he develops hypertension. The occurrence of hypertension in these cases is known as pulmonary hypertension (PHT) because it affects the supply of blood in the lungs.

In this case, the heart will continue with its heart pumping function and will still produce the necessary force to push the blood forward. However, not enough blood is able to force its way through the arteries to unload the blood supply in the lungs.

The hardened arterial walls and constricted blood vessels make it impossible to proceed with the blood circulation without causing stress or difficulty to both the heart and lung area. This then causes the blood pressure to rise and will produce chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath in the afflicted individual.

To better understand this type of high blood pressure, the following are the most common diseases that may bring about pulmonary hypertension as a secondary ailment:

  • COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease;
  • Weakness of the left heart ventricle resulting to shortness of breath;
  • Emphysema as a result of smoking;
  • Pulmonary Embolism or blood Clots;
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV;
  • Advanced liver disease;
  • Other rare diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, sarcoidosis, as well as other long-standing lung diseases.

According to medical opinions, the treatment of pulmonary hypertension does not rely on the healing of the primary disorder. Treatment for the PHT will be separate from the treatment of the primary disorder. In fact, this is considered a serious disease on its own and the following are the treatments available:

  • additional supply of oxygen;
  • dietary supplements to dilate arteries and blood vessels;
  • dietary supplements that act as diuretics;
  • blood thinners or anticoagulants to increase the fluidity of the blood;
  • supplemental medication to lower the blood pressure;
  • in extreme cases, lung transplants may be recommended by the physician in charge.

Part of the treatment requires the patient to be more physically active instead of sedentary. However, this should be done under a supervised system related to cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs because over-exertive exercises may produce critical symptoms such as chest pains with or without dizziness.

In addition to this, patients are advised against abrupt cessation of medications without prior approval of the attending physician. In certain instances where the primary disorder has been cured or treated, some patients tend to cease taking medications or treatments for their PHT, which should not be the case. The treatment of the primary disorder does not necessarily treat pulmonary hypertension.

A well-planned diet is necessary to supply the curative treatments of natural foods since there is an abundance of herbs, vegetables, and fruits that promote the relaxation of hardened arteries. The dietitian in charge will also see to it that foods that can improve the viscosity or the fluidity of the blood shall be part of the patient's diet to aid in promoting proper circulation.

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious type of high blood pressure since the sufferer has to contend with other medications to treat the primary disorder. Patients should see to it that their attending physicians properly supervise their treatments.

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