A diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension may seem overwhelming, but in today's world, living with this rare disorder is manageable. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is something that many people regulate with medication. While this in of itself is a potentially dangerous condition, coupled with a restriction of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs, the disorder can escalate if someone suffering from it does not make some modifications. Take a closer look at what this disorder is and how a person can cope with it.
Basics of pulmonary hypertension
The relationship between the heart and the lungs is crucial. Not only do they maintain the respiratory system, but this dynamic duo ensures a proper amount of oxygen flows through the body. When the arteries between these two organs narrow, blood pumped away from the heart and into the lungs is severely limited. Blood pressure in these pulmonary arteries escalates and, if left unregulated, can cause a person to suffer respiratory or cardiac distress. The disease is progressive, and while not reversible, in some cases, the effects can be significantly reduced.
Tips for managing the disorder
Dealing with pulmonary disease may mean modifying some aspects of life. Even so, leading a relatively healthy and happy life is achievable with the right kind of mindset, determination and discipline.
Watch salt and water intake
The body needs both water and salt to stay hydrated and survive. However, when it comes to those living with pulmonary hypertension, these two necessities may spell trouble. When the heart cannot effectively pump blood through the lungs, it cannot clear the body of excess fluid. People with pulmonary issues tend to retain water in areas like the legs, face, hands and feet. When trying to minimize the effects this disorder has on the body, consuming less salt and fluids in a day may help keep the swelling down.
Eat a diet high in fiber
Adhering to a nutritional diet, high in fiber and low in fat and sugar, is a good recommendation for anyone wanting to lead a healthy life. For those with a pulmonary disorder, this type of diet is critical. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help the body flush out excess fluid and salt, as well as keep arteries clear of fat sediments. Lean meats and fish are also essential to maintaining a heart-happy nutritional program.
Practice light to moderate exercise
Light to moderate activity is typically recommended for those dealing with pulmonary hypertension. However, every person is different and should speak to a doctor before starting any exercise program. Some patients need to go through a heart rehab program, which steps up activity level under the supervision of a trained clinician. That way, there is not an inappropriate amount of stress placed on the heart and lungs.
The prognosis for a pulmonary hypertension diagnosis depends on the patient and how advanced the case has progressed before medical intervention. However, with the proper medication and lifestyle changes, a person can expect to live life as usual. Someone dealing with a pulmonary disorder may notice that life improves once the body has started to adjust to treatment. Breathing easier and feeling more relaxed are two positive effects of finally getting the condition under control.
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