Understanding What Pulmonary Hypertension Does to Your Body


There are various types of pulmonary hypertension (PH) but the root of the disease is the same.

According to Living With PH and the NHS, the human body has several pulmonary arteries (blood vessels that take blood to your lungs). Pulmonary hypertension is what happens when these arteries became more narrow, leading to high blood pressure which can damage your lungs and the right side of your heart.

MOREResearchers uncover a potential non-invasive test for certain types of pulmonary hypertension

When those pulmonary arteries narrow, they also harden, which reduces blood flow. With less blood flowing to a specific part of the heart, the right ventricle (RV) has to work much harder to make sure you can breathe. Due to this extra work, the RV slowly weakens which can eventually lead to heart failure.

MORE: Many PAH patients have abnormalities in heart’s left ventricle, study finds

If you have PH, you can feel tired and dizzy and have difficulty breathing. You may also experience palpitations, chest pain and swelling in several parts of your body. All these symptoms are directly linked to a lack of normal blood flow to your heart and lungs.

However, and this is important, with certain types of PH, like pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), you may not feel any of these symptoms until your condition is in a much more advanced stage.

MOREThe difficulties of diagnosing pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Andrea Rice says:

    I have good days and bad. My mind is still active but my physical body doesn’t match my active brain. I think this illness should only affect people that do horrible things to others serial killers who take lives or murderers, crimes very serious because of the impact it has not on just the person they remove from society but the grief their families have to deal with. I consider this illness a death sentence because I can’t grocery shop anymore at Walmart, the store is too big and I miss it. I can shop at Aldi or online but not every food item is available online. Dollar Tree I can manage but don’t believe Hobby Lobby or Michael’s can do. The stores are too big for me now. I run out of breath so easily and my rest time is so long in between. Usually I stay home most of my time resting until I have to see a doctor but it’s still difficult. I’m grateful to the cardiologists’ seen as well as my first pulmonologist. Thank goodness for the medical advancements scientists are coming up with and changing many lives as a result. I feel as if I exist instead of living life the way I did before.

  2. I have been diagnosed with PH one year ago. I had a heart attac 6 years ago and had 3 stents inserted. I was also diagnosed with
    heart valve disease one year ago, which would need a transplantation but I am to old for that.I have turned 92. My symptons are fatigue and shortness of breath.I live alone and look
    after myself. I still drive the car and do yoga. Besides taking medication I was told to avoid salt. My question, what can I do to feel the best I can? I also lack appetite.
    Thank you, Martha Cronin

    • Pat Ambrosius says:

      You are a true inspiration, Martha! I don’t know what to say regarding feeling the best you can, but I suspect that your lack of appetite may be having an effect on your feeling of well-being. It is possible that a medication you are taking could be affecting your appetite. I would discuss what you are feeling with your doctor to see if some part of your therapy is causing your appetite problem and/or your feeling not your best. Bless you.

  3. Carrie says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with PAH this year and I have difficult sleeping. My chest feels heavy and I become SOB. I’m so frustrated because I’am very active and preparing to resume my job as a clinical nursing instructor next semester. I have an appointment with the pulmonologist in two days . This is my first appointment and I hope he can prescribe medication that will improve my quality of life.

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