In the US alone, an estimated 500 to 1,000 new cases of primary pulmonary hypertension
are diagnosed each year. The greatest number of hypertension pulmonary cases is reported in women between ages 20 and 40. Read up on some of the symptoms of hypertension and how it can be treated with lifestyle changes. What are the medications used for hypertension?
Hypertension primary pulmonary
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare lung disorder where the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above accepted levels, sans any apparent cause. The pulmonary artery is a vital blood vessel carrying blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs. Since the incidence of primary pulmonary hypertension is not very high, there haven't been any conclusive theories as to its cause. Pulmonary hypertension is sometimes believed to develop in people whose blood vessels are very sensitive. This can happen in cases of people with Raynaud's syndrome. A person suffering from primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) feels tiredness and fatigue.
This condition is often misdiagnosed. Other symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are difficulty in breathing and fainting spells. Often swelling in the ankles is noticed as also bluish discoloration of the lips and skin. Secondary pulmonary hypertension (SPH) is caused due to breathing disorders such as emphysema and bronchitis. It can also be linked to congenital heart diseases, liver disease and HIV infection.
Hypertension is a medical term for abnormally high blood pressure. When the blood pressure readings consistently show elevated readings over a period of time, hypertension is the resultant condition. Normal blood pressures hovers around the range of 120/80 mmHg. Pre-hypertension is a Situation when your blood pressure hovers around 130 for systolic pressure and between 80 and 89 for diastolic pressure. Factors that can affect blood pressure are many - salt content of the body, volume of water in the body and the condition of the kidneys, nervous system and blood vessels.
It is essential not to ignore signs of hypertension since it increases the strain on the heart and lead to stroke or heart attack. Secondary hypertension is noticed among 5% of the people. The causes can be linked to kidney disease or adrenal gland disease or even narrowing of the aorta. It is sometimes seen due to use of steroids, contraceptive pills. Hypertension induced by pregnancy or pre-eclampsia is another cause for secondary hypertension among women.
Hypertension is known to run in families and chances of your developing hypertension are high if your close relatives suffer from it. Other causes of hypertension are obesity and excess stress. Those who consume large quantities of alcohol or salt are also at higher risk of getting hypertension.
Mild cases of hypertension do not manifest in any symptoms. You may experience mild headache sometimes. But high levels of blood pressure result in symptoms such as:
- Crushing chest pain
- Heart failure
- Tiredness and confusions
- Irregular heartbeat
Treatment for hypertension involves lifestyle changes. In cases of moderate hypertension, these simple changes can be quite effective. If you are obese, it is necessary to lose weight and make dietary changes. Decrease levels of fat and sodium. A modest restriction of salt may decrease blood pressure. Instead increase the proportion of fiber, fruits and vegetables. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two glasses a day. Introduce exercise into your daily routine to treat hypertension. Regular, moderate aerobic exercise can modestly decrease blood pressure and has many other beneficial effects. Gradual weight loss through modified calorie intake and increased physical activity is a good approach. But consult your physician before you undertake a physical exercise regimen.
Hypertension medications aim to reduce blood pressure so that it doesn't create medical complications. Medications for hypertension are known as 'antihypertensives'. Different medication groups work in different ways to lower blood pressure. Medications for hypertension include diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) or alpha blockers. Diuretics reduce the volume of water in the body. Some medications for hypertension prevent blood vessels from narrowing and constricting. To treat very high blood pressure, medications such as as hydralazine, minoxidil, diazoxide, or nitroprusside are prescribed.
Hypertension induced pregnancy
Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is a complication that occurs to some women during pregnancy. This condition is also referred to as pre-eclampsia or toxemia of pregnancy. Pregnancy induced hypertension is noticed with symptoms such as high blood pressure, protein in the urine and swelling due to fluid retention. Some amount of fluid retention is common during pregnancy. Other symptoms of pregnancy induced hypertension are abdominal pain, dizziness and excessive vomiting. Hypertension induced during pregnancy is more likely to develop among teenage pregnancy or in pregnant women over the age of 40. Other women who are at risk of developing hypertension during pregnancy are those who already have a history of chronic hypertension and those with immune disorders.
Bed rest and limited activity is recommended for pregnant women suffering from hypertension. It is essential to monitor fetal movements during this period. Complications due to pregnancy induced hypertension include early and premature delivery or seizures.
Secondary hypertension is caused due to other complications in other organs of the body. Genetic susceptibility is considered a major cause of hypertension. High blood pressure is noticed more among African Americans as compared to Caucasians or Asians. Other factors that tip the scale in developing hypertension are obesity, lack of exercise, overuse of salt and aging.
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