How Is Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosed
Because pulmonary hypertension may be caused by many medical conditions, a complete medical history, physical exam, and description of your symptoms are necessary to rule out other diseases and make the correct diagnosis. During the physical exam, your healthcare provider will:
- Listen for abnormal heart sounds, such as a loud pulmonic valve sound, a systolic murmur of tricuspid regurgitation, or a gallop due to ventricular failure.
- Examine the jugular vein in the neck for engorgement .
- Examine the abdomen, legs, and ankles for fluid retention.
- Examine nail beds for bluish tint.
- Look for signs of other underlying diseases that might be causing pulmonary hypertension.
Other tests that might be ordered include:
- Blood tests:
- Complete blood count : Tests for infection, elevated hemoglobin, and anemia.
- B-type natriuretic peptide : A marker for heart failure.
Treating High Blood Pressure
Treatment for high blood pressure will depend on your blood pressure levels and your associated risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or stroke.
There are seven main risk factors for developing a cardiovascular disease. These are:
- having a high level of cholesterol in your blood
- having a family history of cardiovascular disease .
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Numbness In Feet
Tingling and numbness in the feet and toes is quite common. In many cases, this is not a cause for concern as it may simply be caused by being in one position for too long, however, some people are more prone to this than others. If numbness persists or becomes painful, it could be a sign of prolonged low blood pressure, which is causing a lack of blood supply.
Symptoms of low or high blood pressure in the feet:
- Cramping in the lower legs and feet
- Ulcerations and sores those that struggle to heel should be taken note of and individuals should consult their GP
- Changes in temperature
- Changes in appearance i.e. loss of hair
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms alongside the numbness or tingling, you should consult your GP or podiatrist.
Recommended Reading: Calibrate Blood Pressure Monitor Omron
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.
Treatment For Fluid Retention
Depending on the cause, treatment may include:
- a low-salt diet
- treatment for the underlying medical condition: for example, hormone replacement in the case of hypothyroidism
- lifestyle changes in response to the underlying medical condition: for example, avoidance of alcohol if liver disease is the cause
- changes to medication or dosage, if drugs are the cause
- dietary adjustments, if malnutrition is the cause
- ongoing medical supervision
- aids such as support stockings.
Don’t Miss: High Blood Pressure Mayo
Its The End Of The Day
At the end of a full day of walking and sitting, gravity has been consistently trying to pull fluid down to your ankles and feet. So they might be more swollen than when you first woke up. Our muscles and veins constantly have to work against gravity to filter the fluid up to our heart, but if there is an imbalance and gravity wins, you see that characteristic end-of-day swelling, says Dr. Canuso.
If you know you will be on your feet for a long, long time in a day, you might consider wearing looser or more comfortable shoes so youre prepared for your feet and ankles to expand and not hurt you by evening. And take breaks to sit down or elevate your feet and legs when you have a bit of downtime to break up the day.
At the end of the day, elevating feet can help resist gravity and bring the fluid up to where it needs to go. And if youre sitting at work all day, frequent short walks will activate your leg muscles and push the fluid up out of your legs, says Dr. Canuso. Walking is the single best way to decrease feet and ankle swelling, she says. Bonus move: When you stand up, take a moment to do calf raises , which activate the leg muscles and help your limbs process the fluid.
Blood Pressure And Your Foot Health
30th September 2019
Your level of blood pressure will determine whether all the areas of your body is receiving the quantity of blood required for energy and movement. This is because red blood cells carry oxygen through the veins and arteries. Blood pressure is caused by the contraction of your heart muscle that pumps the blood. Thus, high blood pressure means that the heart muscle is working overtime to deliver blood, causing the heart to thicken and become less effective.
High blood pressure is known as hypertension and this will vary in severity. When it comes to your foot health, high blood pressure can have a great impact. Primarily, this is caused when peripheral vascular disease causes blockages . PVD occurs as a result of high blood pressure, that damages the blood vessels and impacts their ability to carry the oxygen to all areas of the body.
High blood pressure is also commonly linked with diabetes. In fact, diabetics are 20 times more likely to have peripheral vascular disease than other people. If PVD and high blood pressure is not addressed, in severe cases, ulcerations can occur. These are likely to occur in the extremities of the body, thus the feet and the lower body.
Don’t Miss: Claritin And High Blood Pressure Medications
Edema Related To Circulation Heart Or Liver Problems
A variety of diseases can cause edema. Most of the time, the edema is not a serious illness, but it may be a sign for one. Here are some examples:
Venous insufficiency can cause edema in the feet and ankles, because the veins are having trouble transporting enough blood all the way to the feet and back to the heart. This means that it gathers in the legs, and fluid is forced out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. Edema can also be caused by varicose veins.
Congestive heart failure can cause both peripheral edema and abdominal edema . This is because the heart is too weak to pump blood around the body properly, so the blood gathers in front of the heart. Because of this, and due to the increased blood pressure in the veins, fluid seeps out into the surrounding tissue. This may cause swelling in the legs or a build-up of fluid in the abdomen. If the person spends a lot of time lying down, the edema might show up on his or her back . Congestive heart failure can also cause edema in the lungs . This is not common, but the condition is life-threatening. It means the lungs are filling with fluid because the left side of the heart is not strong enough to pump the blood returning from the lungs. The blood gathers in the blood vessels of the lung, and fluid seeps out into the lung tissue. The signs are shortness of breath and rapid, shallow breathing or coughing.
Common Causes Of Swollen Ankles Feet And Legs
Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is often caused by a build-up of fluid in these areas, called oedema.
Oedema is usually caused by:
- standing or sitting in the same position for too long
- eating too much salty food
- being overweight
- taking certain medicines such as some blood pressure medicines, contraceptive pills, antidepressants or steroids
Oedema can also be caused by:
- problems with your kidneys, liver or heart
- a blood clot
Recommended Reading: Mayo Clinic Blood Pressure
How Does It Work
Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland — both located in your brain — can sense if your blood contains the right level of cortisol. If the level is too low, your brain adjusts the amount of hormones it makes. Your adrenal glands pick up on these signals. Then, they fine-tune the amount of cortisol they release.
Cortisol receptors — which are in most cells in your body — receive and use the hormone in different ways. Your needs will differ from day to day. For instance, when your body is on high alert, cortisol can alter or shut down functions that get in the way. These might include your digestive or reproductive systems, your immune system, or even your growth processes.
Sometimes, your cortisol levels can get out of whack.
High Blood Pressure & Swelling Of Hands & Feet
As simple as high blood pressure may seem, it is still a very complex situation and no direct causes have been found that can specifically be said to cause high blood pressure.
Similar, theres little to no connection between high blood pressure and swelling of hands & feet Though some HBP medication may cause swelling.
The feet are an important part of our body as our movement depends on them. As such, one needs to be aware of the various complications that may take place in the feet and legs. With stressful lifestyle leading to unhealthy food habits, the swollen feet causes are on the rise.
There are quite a few swollen feet causes that you need to be aware of!
Read Also: Does Claritin Raise Blood Pressure
Why Am I Retaining Water In My Hands
Plane flights, hormone changes, and too much salt can all cause your body to retain excess water. Your body is made up mainly of water. When your hydration level is not balanced, your body tends to hang on to that water. Usually, water retention may cause you to feel heavier than normal, and less nimble or active.
Your heart is the hardest-working muscle, pumping an average of 2,000 gallons of blood a day. So when something goes wrong with it, your body will quickly let you know.
Heart failure happens when it cant pump enough blood to keep your organs working normally. One major sign of heart failure is swollen feet, or edema. The swelling comes from fluid trapped inside the tissues of your body.
Heart failure causes swelling in your feet because the kidneys arent getting enough oxygen to properly filter your blood. When that happens, your body keeps the extra fluid and waste products inside your body.
Heart failure also causes a backup of blood, which causes the body to hold on to extra fluid outside of the arteries or veins. This results in swelling in the feet.
Management Of Swollen Ankels
Diuretic medicines amplify the amount of fluid removed by your kidneys and this may help to do away with any excess fluid from the body. This removes the build up of water from the tissues in your ankles.
If your ankle swelling is due to taking calcium channel blockers, reducing the dose of your medicine will usually help. Or, if your blood pressure is not totally managed, your doctor could prescribe you a diuretic like spiromide, lesoride etc to help decrease your blood pressure further and take away the excess fluid.
You can assist to reduce the swelling by sitting with your legs lifted up. This lets your blood stream more freely and will help reduce the swelling. You may also raise foot end of your bed when you sleep at night to reduce ankle swelling.
Read Also: How To Treat Blood Pressure
Diagnosis Of Fluid Retention
The underlying cause of the oedema must be found before treatment can begin. Diagnostic tests may include:
- physical examination
- medical history
- detailed questioning about the fluid retention, such as when it started, any factors that worsen the swelling and whether it is constant or intermittent
- blood tests
- heart function tests, such as electrocardiogram .
High Blood Pressure May Lead To Decreased Circulation In Your Legs And Feet This Decreased Circulation May Show Up As A Variety Of Other Symptoms Examine Your Lower Legs Closely To See If You Are Experiencing Any Of The Following Signs:
Feet and legs are unusually colder to the touch
Absence of normal skin tone
Burning sensation in feet
Hair loss on the legs and feet
Numbness and tingling in feet
Cramping after exercising
Wounds located on the legs and feet take longer to heal
While it may not seem that these are serious problems by themselves, they are precursors to potentially fatal circulatory diseases. If your legs and feet are frequently swelling, then your high blood pressure may have already started contributing to heart disease. Take these symptoms seriously and have your legs and feet checked by a podiatrist.
Don’t Miss: Shaking Low Blood Pressure
Youve Developed A Blood Clot
Youve probably heard of it happening to people on planes: after sitting for a long time without moving their legs, they develop swelling and pain on one side . . . and later find out that they have a dangerous blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis. If caught in time, it can be treated. But often it isnt, and the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, where it cuts off the oxygen supply and can be lethal.
How does foot swelling play into this? “The swelling is caused by the presence of the clot,” says Dr. Silverstein. “The clot causes pressure to increase behind the area of obstruction, and that increased pressure pushes the fluids in the blood out of the veins into the tissues. “
While anyone who sits for long periods can develop a blood clot, certain factors boost your risk, including obesity, smoking, being pregnant, having heart failure, kidney conditions, a previous clot, cancer, or taking certain medications, such as birth control pills.
Though a clot thats caused foot swelling doesnt always have other symptoms, typically youll feel pain in your leg as well. The most common presentation is significant pain and discomfort in the calf region with associated swelling of that limb,” says Dr. Johanning. If these symptoms strike without explanation, notify your doctor ASAP, or head for the emergency room.
Warning Signs Of Heart Failure
In addition to edema, there are a few other signs of heart failure, including:
- Shortness of breath or wheezing: This can happen during exercise or when lying down. If shortness of breath wakes you up from sleep, you need immediate medical treatment.
- Stomach upset: You can also have a bloated stomach, nausea, or loss of appetite.
- Confusion: This happens because your brain is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
- Swelling: Your feet, ankles, or stomach can be swollen. You may also experience sudden weight gain.
Recommended Reading: Claritin Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure And Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
High blood pressure conditions are the most common concern for pregnant women in their second and third trimester. It is important to monitor blood pressure throughout pregnancy to avoid conditions such as preeclampsia. However, one of the most common ways to identify high blood pressure during pregnancy is swelling in the feet, hands and face.
It is common to experience swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy and this can be caused by high blood pressure, but if this is checked there is no cause for concern. Pregnant women may benefit from the added support and comfort of orthotic insoles, which can help prevent foot pain.
Is This A Serious Problem
It is more of an irritant than anythingelse but over time, it can put pressure on the ankles. This leads toskin abscesses, varicose veins and skin ulcers. This may not seem likesomething to be unduly worried about but any fluid retention needs tobe investigated further as it could be the sign of something serious.
In regard to symptoms, the most obviousone is that of swelling around the ankles. But if this is the sign ofan underlying disorder then it may lead to swelling in other areas ofthe body such as the feet and lower legs.
Other symptoms may develop which includepuffy eyes, weight gain, frequent need to urinate, swollen hands/wristsand headaches. This swelling can also cause high blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Vinegar And Blood Pressure