With an ever-increasing number of pulmonary hypertension cases, the need for prevention of the disease is more than ever.
Since there seems to be no exact cure for the condition, it is essential that people with weak heart conditions must know how to take care of their health.
But, to manage the disease effectively, it is important to know what pulmonary hypertension really is.
What is pulmonary hypertension?
In simple words, PH is a disorder related to hypertension in the blood vessels that lead to the lungs from the heart – you can even get pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy. The increased blood pressure in the arteries causes them to narrow, resulting in decreased flow of blood to the lungs.
As the amount of blood going to the lungs decreases, so does the amount of oxygenated blood. Now, as the blood carries less and less oxygen due to pulmonary hypertension, it can give rise to many other worse conditions, and in some extreme cases, it can even cause heart failure.
What causes PH?
The most prevalent cause of pulmonary hypertension is usually related to heart diseases, connective tissues, liver dysfunctions, blood clotting, etc.
There are simply dozens of causes that can lead to this condition, and this disease is typically found to be comorbid with many other lung and heart diseases.
What are the different types of PH?
There are almost five types of pulmonary hypertension based on the causes. If you want to manage this condition effectively, then it is highly essential that you know which type you are suffering from.
- The first group is related to arterial hypertension that is characterized by extremely narrow arteries in the lungs. The cause of this narrowing is unknown in pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is why this condition is also referred to as idiopathic.
- The second group of PH involves hypertension in the lungs due to dysfunction of the heart’s left side. This dysfunction can occur due to many long term heart conditions such as ventricular systolic and diastolic disorders in which the heart fails to pump or relax properly, resulting in a disrupted flow of the blood into the blood vessels. The valvular dysfunction to the left side of the heart can also muddle the blood flow that is directed from the heart to the lungs.
- Group three involves the development of pulmonary hypertension due to some preexisting lung diseases or some sleep-related breathing conditions.
- The fourth group involves PH due to blood clots that are found in the pulmonary arteries. The clots either travel to these extremely thin pulmonary arteries or they are formed there. Either way, such conditions, when occurred without any apparent reason, can prove to be harmful to our lungs and heart.
- The fifth and last group is incorporated with all those causes that are less common and cannot be placed in the other four categories. These causes are typically associated with blood disorders, metabolic disorders, systemic disorders, tumors, kidney failures, etc.
How to self manage pulmonary hypertension?
Now that we have spilled enough information on what pulmonary hypertension is, let’s discuss how one can self manage the condition at home. But, if you are interested in knowing details about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment then learn more about pulmonary hypertension at PVRI.
Before we go on discussing the tips and tricks to effectively manage PH on your own, it is important to know that not every tip is supposed to work for everyone. It depends on your overall health and the level of PH you are at. So, the tips here do not guarantee positive results, but they do hold authenticity and have worked for patients in the past.
The first thing that you have to do if you develop PH and also smokes, is saying goodbye to it forever. Now, it might not be easy for chain smokers, but remember that the benefit of doing this is a hundred times more than the pleasure you get out of it.
You can get enrolled in smoke cessation programs or you can utilize smoke-quitting aids. And if you do not smoke but live around smokers, then try to avoid being in their presence when they are smoking.
If your living location is higher than eight thousand feet, then you should consider moving away from that place. Traveling back and forth from such height puts extreme pressure on your heart that ultimately increases your blood pressure. This can worsen your condition.
Rest a lot
While working and engaging in any physically exerting activity that increases your blood pressure, make sure to not overdo because if you do, it will drastically increase your blood pressure. Whenever you feel fatigued, take proper rest and enough sleep or a nap.
To maintain your health and reduce the underlying causes of pulmonary hypertension, it is important to exercise. But, it is not advisable to engage in core workout sessions that involve heavy lifting or movements that put a high strain on your muscles.
A PH patient must consult with their doctor to draft an exercise plan because only a doctor can tell them which exercise will be good and which will be lethal.
Another way to keep your overall health in good shape is by eating a highly balanced diet. If it is possible, try to avoid a diet that is mostly rich in saturated or trans fats, cholesterol, and excessive salt.
Typically, a diet that has plenty of fiber in it along with whole grain, fruits, lean meat, and vegetables, is considered a highly balanced diet and is certainly good for PH patients. But, it is important to consult your doctor before you plan your diet routine.
If you keep up with your visits to the doctor regularly, you can decrease the chances of developing any other serious condition due to PH. By observing your progress regularly, your doctor can easily tackle any serious issues head-on. Plus, it can also be determined if your treatment needs any alterations or changes.