Is Pulmonary Hypertension Treatable?
Pulmonary hypertension is an untreatable disease. There is no absolute cure. Current treatment approach help to relieve the symptoms and may slow down the progression of the disease. Pulmonary hypertension is treated with medicines, surgical procedures, and other therapies. The choice of treatment depends upon the type and severity of the disease.
Medical Management for Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
The main aim of the medical therapy is to reduce the stress and relax the blood vessels in the lung parenchyma. Some drugs target to reduce cell growth factors, which ultimately checks to remodel of Pulmonary vascular bed. Relaxation of these blood vessels results in a more efficient flow of blood through them.
Various categories of drugs are prescribed for the treatment of Pulmonary arterial hypertension such as Calcium channel blocker, phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, prostanoid, endothelin receptor antagonists. These drugs are administered as monotherapy or in combination with others.
Surgical Management for Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
Surgical Management for pulmonary hypertension is the treatment of choice in that patient where either the medical management fails or medical management is contraindicated or the compliance is poor.
There are various processes for managing pulmonary hypertension like atrial septoplasty, lung transplant, heart-lung transplant.
In atrial septoplasty, a connection is made between the upper chambers of the heart through interatrial septum. A catheter is guided into the heart chamber through vessels of the leg than the balloon, fixed at the end of the catheter, is inflated. This creates a connection between the two upper chambers and relieves the pressure.
Lung transplant surgery is advised to those patients who have severe damage to lung parenchyma due to Pulmonary Hypertension. Here the diseased lung of the patient is replaced with the healthy lung of a deceased donor.
Pulmonary hypertension developing due to COPD, emphysema of lungs, interstitial lung disease are treated with oxygen therapy.
Pulmonary hypertension due to thromboembolic events, clots are treated with blood thinning agents, anticoagulants.
Pulmonary hypertension has no cure the ongoing treatment aims to delay the progression and to relieve the symptomology of Pulmonary Hypertension. Routine weight monitoring is required in patients with Pulmonary Hypertension. A weight gain of more than 2 pounds/day is suggestive of worsening of Pulmonary Hypertension.
Lifestyle Changes for Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
Lifestyle changes help to manage the symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension. These changes do not reverse the pathological changes of the Pulmonary Hypertension but may slow down the progression of the disease.
Quit Smoking- Smoking, we all know, directly affect our lung and nicotine causes endothelial damage. Smoking causes worsening of Pulmonary Hypertension.
Healthy Diet- Following a healthy diet is mandatory and maintaining a constant healthy weight is a part of healthy dietary Lifestyle. A healthy balanced diet includes food containing an appropriate amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates. These can be obtained from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Patient with pulmonary hypertension should have low trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, salt. This patient should consult the physician about regulating or limiting salt and fluid intake.
Physical Activity- Being physically active is an essential part of Healthy Lifestyle. A daily activity is considered good for health if done regularly. Physical activities such as walking, brisk walking, jogging are considered best for body functioning. Hypertensive patient should consult the doctor about these exercises like what should be the average amount to be done daily, what should be avoided. Inpatient with pulmonary hypertension, there is some limitation in physical activities like activities, which causes straining like weight lifting etc should be avoided. Heavy Strenuous exercises and hot water bath and Sauna should be avoided as they may cause a decrease in the blood pressure. A person with pulmonary hypertension should limit their journey by flight or be visiting a high altitude area should be avoided.
Emotional Support- Patient with pulmonary hypertension are living at the risk of developing fear, stress, depression, anxiety. These conditions along with pulmonary hypertension may worsen the living. Counseling of a patient is necessary and help them to live a healthy peaceful life. Support groups may also help to adjust with pulmonary hypertension. Support from family and friends help to relieve stress and anxiety in the patient with pulmonary hypertension.