If You Get Winded Easily It Might Be Pulmonary Hypertension
Do you find yourself short of breath, even from a slow walk with the dog? Do you have to catch your breath at the top of a short staircase? Pulmonary hypertension might be the cause. It can limit your quality of life and, untreated, eventually, lead to heart failure. Dr. Nathan Hatton says, unlike hypertension it can be difficult to detect and determine the root cause of pulmonary hypertension.
When To Call A Doctor
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. This may mean having symptoms that suggest that your blood pressure is causing a serious heart or blood vessel problem. Your blood pressure may be over 180/110.
For example, call 911 if:
- You have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:
- Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly or in one or both shoulders or arms.
- Light-headedness or sudden weakness.
- A fast or irregular heartbeat.
Do not wait until your blood pressure comes down on its own. Get help right away.
- Your blood pressure is much higher than normal , but you don’t have symptoms.
- You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms, such as:
- Severe headache.
- Blurry vision.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
Taking Care Of Yourself
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to stay active, even if you have shortness of breath. Regular exercise, like taking a walk, will help you breathe better and live better. Talk to your doctor first to find out what kind of exercise is best for you, and how much you should do. Some people may need to use oxygen when they exercise.
Get plenty of rest, too. Pulmonary hypertension makes you tired, so get a good nights sleep and take naps when you need to.
Just like anyone else, its good for you to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Thats important for your overall health.
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Can Fibromyalgia Cause Shortness Of Breath
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Fibromyalgia is a long-term status that causes pain all over the body. Its not known what causes fibromyalgia, but its thought that both genetic and environmental factors can contribute to developing the condition.
It causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and other symptoms such as dizziness and headaches. Shortness of breath is as common as it is alarming for those with fibromyalgia.
How Is It Treated
To treat a hypertensive emergency, doctors and nurses will carefully monitor your blood pressure and give you medicine intravenously . The immediate goal is to lower your blood pressure enough so that your organs are no longer in immediate danger. But it must be lowered slowly so that your body has enough time to adjust to the change in blood pressure. If blood pressure is lowered too quickly, your body may have a hard time getting blood to your brain.
The other goal of treatment is to treat organ complications. For example, your doctor may give you a diuretic if you have fluid buildup in your lungs. Or your doctor may give a beta-blocker and nitrates if you have myocardial ischemia . After your doctor has lowered your blood pressure to a safe level and treated your complications, he or she will try to identify the cause of the acute episode. Your doctor will then work with you to create a treatment regimen that can help prevent future attacks.
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Is High Blood Pressure Considered Heart Disease
High blood pressure is a condition that makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Over time, it can damage your arteries if it goes untreated. These effects, in turn, raise your risk of heart disease.
This overview will explain the connection between high blood pressure and heart disease. It will also go over the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure, how the condition is treated, and what can be done to prevent it.
Natural Treatment For Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath can be triggered by illness and fatigue, but it can also be a symptom of a serious underlying condition. Serious heart conditions such as heart attack, heart disease, and heart failure can all cause shortness of breath.
Medical treatment will be required for serious conditions, as treatment will prevent serious damage and death. There are also natural treatments you can use to support heart health and reduce risks.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is proven to support heart health in several ways. This essential vitamin naturally lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart attack and heart failure. High cholesterol increases the risk of clogged and damaged arteries, and niacin prevents this. By also lowering blood pressure, niacin protects the heart and blood vessels from stress and damage that can trigger heart failure.
Another beneficial and natural ingredient is red yeast rice. This fermented rice contains compounds that lower cholesterol and work as effectively as the top prescription medications. Red yeast rice also lowers blood pressure and blood glucose levels naturally.
Blood glucose levels are important to heart health, as those with diabetes have a significant risk of heart failure. High blood glucose levels damage heart tissues, and red yeast rice can prevent this by naturally controlling these levels.
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Research Into Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is an area of intense research, particularly with respect to:
- the correct type of medication to use in the different groups of pulmonary hypertension, and in which combinations
- management of right heart failure, and possible new treatment targets or therapies
- treatments at the molecular level, such as monoclonal antibodies, which may be useful tools to slow disease progression
- further genetic markers that may identify people at high-risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.
Living With Pulmonary Hypertension
Because there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, you will need to learn to manage your condition. The best way to do this is by following the treatment plan developed between you and your doctor. Call your doctor if your symptoms change or get worse. Know what symptoms could require emergency treatment, such as chest pain.
Making lifestyle changes can also help your condition. This could include:
- Quit smoking. Smoking makes symptoms of pulmonary hypertension worse.
- Follow a healthy diet. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Talk to your doctor to see if you need to limit the amount of salt in your diet. Also ask if you should limit the amount of vitamin K in your diet. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and some oils. It can affect how well blood-thinning medicines work.
- Be physically active. Try to be as active as you can. Incorporate regular activity, such as walking, into your daily routine. Ask your doctor if there are any activities you should avoid. These could include lifting heavy objects, sitting in a hot tub, or traveling to high-altitude areas.
- Get support for emotional issues. Living with pulmonary hypertension can cause you worry, anxiety, stress, or depression. Talk about your feelings with your doctor. He or she will be able to direct you to the kind of help you need. This could include talking to a counselor, medicine for depression, or a patient support group.
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When To See Your Doctor
If your shortness of breath is accompanied by fever, chest pain, tightness in the throat, and wheezing, then you could be experiencing angina or a heart attack. These combinations of symptoms require immediate attention.
In general, if you are experiencing shortness of breath for no obvious reason like exercise, or it is on-going and frequent, speak with your doctor right away. Uncovering and treating the underlying cause will be the only way to correct the shortness of breath.
In This Article
Medications May Cause Low Blood Pressure
Medications used to treat conditions other than low blood pressure may cause low blood pressure as a side effect. Erectile dysfunction medications such as sildenafil , tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline , and Parkinson’s medications such as levodopa-carbidopa , are a few medications whose side effects may include low blood pressure. Narcotic pain medications and alcohol also decrease blood pressure.
When blood pressure medications work too well, low blood pressure may result. Angiotensin-receptor blockers , calcium channel blockers , beta blockers, and diuretics are some types of blood pressure medications.
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Lung Conditions Associated With Shortness Of Breath
Emphysema: This is a type of COPD that causes poor lung function and is most often caused by smoking. Not smoking or quitting is the best prevention and treatment, but COPD diseases can also be treated with antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and bronchodilators.
Asthma: Asthma is the inflammation of the airways causing them to narrow, which limits breathing and causes tightness in the chest and coughing. The severity of asthma ranges from person to person, and it is a fairly common condition. Asthma is a life-long condition, and it can be treated both short-term with inhalers and long-term with medications such as inhaled corticosteroids.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes inflammation and fluid accumulation. Most types are contagious, and it can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Pneumonia is treated with medications to alleviate symptoms and antibiotics.
Pulmonary edema: This condition is marked by excess fluid accumulation in the lungs and can be related to heart issues. Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of this condition, and it can be treated with medications and oxygen therapy.
Cold and Flu: Cold and flu viruses impact your airways and lungs and can cause congestion, which interferes with breathing. They can also cause fluid to enter the lungs, which will also cause shortness of breath as a result of inflamed airways. There is no treatment for viruses, so symptoms are treated to keep individuals comfortable.
Classification Of Pulmonary Hypertension
There are many different reasons a person may develop pulmonary hypertension. The World Health Organisation classifies pulmonary hypertension by these underlying causes. These classifications include:-Group 1: Pulmonary hypertension from genetic or unknown causes, drug-induced, or related to connective tissue diseases-Group 2: Pulmonary hypertension from failure of the left side of the heart-Group 3: Pulmonary hypertension from lung diseases and chronic low levels of oxygen-Group 4: Pulmonary hypertension from chronic blood clots on the lungs-Group 5: Pulmonary hypertension from mixed or miscellaneous causes.
Pulmonary hypertension is also classified by its severity and the impact it has on a persons activities. These classifications include:
–Functional Class I: symptoms do not limit the persons physical ability-Functional Class II: symptoms result in slight limitation of physical ability, but the person is comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity may cause shortness of breath-Functional Class III: symptoms result in marked disability, with less than ordinary physical activity bringing on breathlessness. Comfortable at rest-Functional Class IV: symptoms at rest. Severely limited by shortness of breath.
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Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Veins
If blood pressure becomes too high, baroreceptors send signals to the veins instructing them to expand and store more blood and return less blood to the heart. The result is blood flow decreases and blood pressure becomes lower. Conversely, veins can become narrower and return more blood to the heart, which increases blood pressure.
Different Symptoms For Different People
Each person with PAH will experience a different assortment of symptoms. The severity of the symptoms will also differ from person to person. One persons journey with having and treating PAH wont necessarily be helpful to another person because the path with PAH and the treatment options are so individualized.
However, you can draw support from others who have PAH, learn from their experiences, and shape your approach to treating PAH accordingly. Read more about medications used to treat PAH.
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Dont Ignore Shortness Of Breath
Many of us have experienced shortness of breath at some time or another. Its a common complaint that can be caused by many reasons. But when breathing problems do not go away and get worse with exertion, it should be evaluated. Shortness of breath with exertion is a common symptom of pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension is a life-threatening condition that means you have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from your heart to your lungs. Its not the same as having regular high blood pressure. With pulmonary hypertension, the tiny arteries in your lungs on the right side of the heart become narrow or blocked, reducing the flow of blood to your lungs. This causes your heart to work harder. If not treated, eventually it will cause the heart to weaken and could lead to heart failure.
Pulmonary hypertension in its earliest stages is difficult to diagnose because it is often mistaken for heart disease, says Ronald Zolty, MD, cardiologist at Nebraska Medicine. But because it doesnt show up in standard cardiac diagnostic tests, it may be dismissed. Early detection is very important, however. Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive disease. With advances in treatment options, we can stop the progression but we cant undo the damage.
In addition to shortness of breath with exertion, other symptoms include fatigue, lower extremity edema and abdominal distention. In more advanced stages, patients may experience dizziness and syncope.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Shortness Of Breath
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Of The Newborn
This is a type of pulmonary hypertension estimated to affect two in every 1,000 newborn babies.
It has been linked to the mother taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during the third trimester of the pregnancy .
Conditions that may also be associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn include:
- severe pulmonary hypoplasia when your babys lungs are seriously underdeveloped
- hypoglycaemia an abnormally low level of glucose in the babys blood
- a life-threatening illness caused by the babys body overreacting to an infection
- meconium aspiration syndrome when a newborn baby breathes in a mixture of amniotic fluid and meconium , which can block their airways
Chest Pain Pressure And Discomfort
Most people with heart attacks experience some sort of chest pain or discomfort. But its important to understand that chest pains dont occur in every heart attack.
Chest pain is a common sign of a heart attack. People have described this sensation as feeling like an elephant is standing on their chest.
Some people dont describe chest pain as pain at all. Instead, they may say they felt chest tightness or squeezing. Sometimes this discomfort can seem bad for a few minutes and then go away. Sometimes the discomfort comes back hours or even a day later. These could all be signs your heart muscle isnt getting enough oxygen.
If you experience chest pains or tightness, you or someone around you should call 911 immediately.
Pain and tightness can also radiate in other areas of the body. Most people associate a heart attack with pain working its way down the left arm. That can happen, but pain can also appear in other locations, including:
- upper abdomen
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Understanding The Connection Between High Blood Pressure And Breathing
When a person is suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension there is a high force in the movement of blood moving against the walls of blood vessels. This leads to pressure on the right side of the heart and makes it difficult for the heart to carry the blood to the lungs.
Due to this, the blood does not move to the left side of the heart and the body. During this process, high blood pressure leads to the thickening of the heart muscles. This hardly leaves any space for the oxygen-rich blood to move ahead from the lungs to the chamber, which pumps the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body causing shortness of breath.
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The main reason for shortened breath or difficulty in breathing is because the heart walls get stiff and thick during high blood pressure.
To solve breathing issues during high BP, first, you need to know the reasons for high BP and work upon avoiding things that lead to high BP.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure results in inadequate blood flow — and therefore inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients — to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs. This can be damaging and BP too low only if the cause permanent harm. Some experts consider low blood pressure in adults less than 90/60 mm Hg others consider BP too low if symptoms occur.
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Treatment For Pulmonary Hypertension
If you are diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension you will have three- to twelve-monthly reviews, depending on:
- the severity of your illness
- the cause of your pulmonary hypertension
- the treatment you are receiving.
You will be encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes. You can reduce your risk of worsening pulmonary hypertension by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking. A healthy diet and moderate amounts of exercise are proven to be of benefit in improving effort tolerance and reducing symptoms. Your treating doctor will issue the appropriate referrals to ensure that any underlying medical conditions contributing to your pulmonary hypertension are managed by the appropriate specialists.Your GP will help you to lower your cardiovascular risk by treating high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. It is important to tell your GP or specialist if you are feeling overwhelmed, as they may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can. They may refer you to a counsellor or psychologist who can help you cope with the changes your symptoms make to your everyday life.