Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
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What does it mean if you have primary pulmonary hypertension? I have heard all of those words on their own, but certainly upon first glance didn’t know what they meant together. With a little reading, though, I understood what primary pulmonary hypertension was. Pulmonary hypertension is actually a disorder where your blood pressure in the arteries is higher than it should be, it is primary if there are no other disorders present. This can cause a number of health issues.
For one thing, in severe cases of primary pulmonary hypertension, the right side of the heart ends up working harder than usual to pump your blood against the high blood pressure in your arteries. After long periods of this, the right side of your heart becomes enlarged which causes it to function poorly. Fluid will begin to collect in your ankles and belly and then, eventually, the left side of your heart will begin to fail. If your heart fails as a result of primary pulmonary hypertension it is called cor pulmonale.
Heart failure as a result of pulmonary hypertension is caused by varying combinations of a number of disorders like emphysema, fibrosis, or chronic bronchitis. However, if you get pulmonary hypertension without any of these other disorders it is called primary pulmonary hypertension. It is more commonly found in men than it is in women, but its cause is not known at this time.
When the pulmonary hypertension comes as a result of the other disorders, it is called secondary pulmonary hypertension. It is more common than primary pulmonary hypertension. Secondary may be a result of pulmonary thromboembolism, COPD, or congenital heart disease. Since any of these can cause that rise in blood pressure that results in the symptoms discussed above.
Obviously if you find that you have either primary pulmonary hypertension or secondary pulmonary hypertension you are already under a doctor’s care. He or she may try oxygen therapy that will help to improve alveolar oxygen flow. You may also be asked by your physician to avoid vigorous exercise and to go through chest physiotherapy. The treatment for either type of pulmonary hypertension is basically the same. What is most important, though, is that you follow the advice of your physician closely as primary pulmonary hypertension can be very serious as can anything relating to the health of your heart.
Whether you find that you have primary pulmonary hypertension or secondary pulmonary hypertension you may find that you are a little upset or nervous. You have good reason because they are very serious disorders. However, if you listen to your doctor, take care of yourself, and keep a positive mindset you may find that you can overcome the problem. Heart conditions of any sort are obviously something to take seriously, so if you have any questions or concerns about primary pulmonary hypertension you should consult your physician and make sure you completely understand what is happening and what you should be doing to help yourself.
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