Pulmonary hypertension is when blood pressure is high in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs. The blood vessels narrow, making it difficult for the heart to do its job. The condition is somewhat rare but very serious; it can affect people of all ages, ethnicities, and races, but is most common in young adults and twice as often in women as in men†
Group 1: Pulmonary arterial hypertension
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies pulmonary hypertension into several groups. Group 1 is the least common type, but has been well studied.
This type occurs when the pulmonary arteries thicken and become stiff or narrow. Symptoms can develop with no apparent cause, but group one can be inherited or linked to other medical conditions, such as HIV, congenital heart disease, and lupus.
Group 2: Pulmonary venous hypertension due to left heart disease
This type of pulmonary hypertension is: by means of left-sided heart disease† When the left side of the heart is not working properly, blood flows back into the lungs and venous pressure increases.
Researchers don’t fully understand the changes that occur in the pulmonary artery in this type of pulmonary hypertension, but they think it’s the result of venous pressure buildup. Group 2 is the most common type pulmonary hypertension in the United States†
There are three Additionally WHO groups of pulmonary hypertension. Group 3 is pulmonary hypertension caused by hypoxia and is most common in people with lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or anything that causes scarring and damage in the lungs.
Group 4 pulmonary hypertension results from chronic clotting in the pulmonary vessels, and Group 5 is a diverse category of pulmonary hypertension with unclear causes.
Changes in the heart and lungs
Regardless of the type, the changes in the heart and lungs of pulmonary hypertension are generally the same. The pulmonary arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the lungs, are narrow. This makes it difficult for blood to pass through, increasing pressure and putting a strain on the right side of the heart.
The right ventricle receives deoxygenated blood from the body and pumps it into the lungs, and it has to work very hard to overcome this increased pressure. Eventually, the right ventricle weakens and can no longer pump enough blood to the lungs, resulting in right-sided heart failure.
Symptoms by pulmonary hypertension do not always appear until it is advanced. Shortness of breath with daily activities is often one of the first signs that something is wrong, but people may also experience fainting, dizziness, swelling in the legs and feet, or chest pain.
As the disease progresses, symptoms include palpitations and difficulty breathing at rest, until it becomes difficult to perform normal activities or even walk around the room.
Pulmonary hypertension is: normally not found On a routine medical examination† Even in later stages, the symptoms can be confused with other heart conditions, and doctors often diagnose it after ruling out other things.
Tests include a chest X-ray, echocardiogram, lung function tests, and lung scans. The doctor may also perform a cardiac catheterization of the right side of the heart to detect any changes. Cardiac catheterization is the only test that directly measures the pressure of the pulmonary arteries.
A therapy for pulmonary hypertension medication. The type of medication depends on the underlying cause of the condition.
Blood thinners may be prescribed for clotting, and diuretics help remove extra fluid to reduce swelling and reduce the burden on the heart. Sometimes people need drugs to treat arrhythmias or to widen blood vessels to lower pulmonary blood pressure.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
People with pulmonary hypertension can eating pattern and lifestyle changes to help them manage the disease. Doctors may recommend a low-sodium diet and limit foods with cholesterol, saturated fats and refined sugar while eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. People with this condition may also need to monitor their fluid intake, especially if they experience shortness of breath or swelling.
Vigorous exercise can be too hard on their lungs, so most doctors recommend walking as a form of safe and effective exercise. People with this condition should also stay away from alcohol and tobacco and avoid pregnancy, which puts undue strain on the heart and lungs.
If pulmonary hypertension worsens or is not well controlled, surgical intervention may be necessary. Doctors can surgically remove blood clots in the pulmonary artery if they are present to improve lung function and circulation. The only cure for pulmonary hypertension is a lung transplant.
Lung transplants are only recommended for advanced forms of the disease that no longer respond to treatment. If left-sided heart failure is also present, a heart and lung transplant may be needed.
Even of therapypulmonary hypertension can cause serious complications such as heart failure and arrhythmias. Identifying problems with the right ventricle is essential to determine the risk of complications and death.
People at lower risk have minimal right-sided heart changes, while those at most risk have significant enlargement and dysfunction.