Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is termed precapillary pulmonary hypertension or, more recently, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). In the United States, an estimated 500 to 1,000 new cases of primary pulmonary hypertension are diagnosed each year. he greatest number is reported in women between ages 20 and 40. However, men and women in all age ranges — as well as very young children — can develop PPH.
What is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension? Mostly known as Primary or unexplained pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is a rare lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above normal levels for no apparent reason. The pulmonary artery is a blood vessel carrying oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle (one of the heart’s pumping chambers) to the lungs. In the lungs, the blood picks up oxygen, and then flows to the heart’s left side, where the left ventricle pumps it to the rest of the body through the aorta. Normal average (also called “mean”) pulmonary artery pressure is about 14 mm Hg at rest. In patients with PPH, the average blood pressure in the pulmonary artery is greater than 25 mm Hg at rest and greater than 30 mm Hg during exercise. This abnormally high pressure (pulmonary hypertension) is linked with changes in the small blood vessels in the lungs. These changes increase resistance to blood flowing through the vessels. This increased resistance puts a strain on the right ventricle, which now must work harder than usual to move enough blood through the lungs. Hypertension is a well known medical term for abnormally high blood pressure. “Primary” means that there are no other diseases of the heart or lungs causing the high blood pressure (BP). For this reason the name of this disorder is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH).
What are the causes of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension? The cause of primary pulmonary hypertension is unknown. Some cases are caused by a genetic defect. The small arteries of the lung narrow throughout the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension is the result of greater resistance to blood flow. As a result of the increased workload caused by this resistance, the right side of the heart becomes enlarged. Eventually, progressive heart failure may develop. This disease is rare. It affects more women than men.
What are the symptoms Primary Pulmonary Hypertension? The following are the most common symptoms for pulmonary hypertension. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- difficulty in breathing (dyspnea)
- fainting spells (syncope)
- swelling in the ankles or legs (edema)
- bluish lips and skin (cyanosis)
- chest pain (angina)
- racing pulse
- trouble getting enough air
- palpitations, strong throbbing sensations brought on by increased heart rate
More severe symptoms indicate a more advanced disease. In advanced stages, the patient:
- is able to perform minimal activities.
- has symptoms even when resting.
- may become bedridden if the disease becomes worse.
The symptoms of primary pulmonary hypertension may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your physician for a diagnosis.
What is the treatment of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension? Primary Pulmonary Hypertension does not have a proper cure. The treatment administered helps to relieve the symptoms and further retards the progress of the disease. The purpose of treatments is to keep at bay any complications that may be involved with the condition.
Blood pressure medicine and diuretics get rid of excess fluid that gets accumulated example Lasix.
But it must be kept in mind that these medicines must be cautiously used, so that the chances of dehydration are minimized. The calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine help the muscles to relax in the blood vessel walls. This proves helpful for the proper functioning of the right side of our heart. Blood pressure medication also helps keep heart rate and blood pressure under control.
Other primary pulmonary hypertension natural treatments include:
1) Prostacycline, is effective in decreasing resistance to blood flow and dilating blood vessels of the lungs.
2) Inhaling nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels in the lungs and does not affect the blood vessels of the rest of the body. Sildrafil is another investigational drug used alongside nitric oxide inhalation treatment.
3) Using Bosentan may help reduce blood pressure.
Along with the treatments there must be regular blood pressure readings with attention towards changes in overall health and monitoring reports thereof. Primary pulmonary hypertension natural treatments also help in the treatment of high blood pressure.