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. Because of this extra work, the RV slowly weakens which can eventually lead to heart failure.

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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3 comments

  1. Andrea Rice says:

    Just have PH not PAH, but 4 years I was told I had asthma, allergic 2 everything that grows where I live, until I met a caring cardiologist after I was taken 2 the emergency room by my son 4 severe chest pains and he was shocked that I was still alive, walking around, miss-diagnosed. Had my first heart cath done, and he suggested I take 3 adult low dose 81 mg. aspirin daily 2 help keep the blood flowing without 2 many complications. I miss this man because he is a very caring doctor but then he was transferred 2 surgery and then I had 2 deal with being bounced around from one doctor 2 another in the cardiology department I don’t like. So, right now all I do is take the medicine he prescribed. I don’t go 2 the cardiology department because I lack in not having enough energy 2 get there. Doctors need 2 consider treating patients in their homes as they used 2 long ago. The last appointment I had was with this cardiologist who bragged about becoming a doctor until I told him this is his accomplishment not mine, reviewed my medical information in the computer. I received no care concerning my health needs at all. It wasn’t until I went 2 my pcp (primary care physician) that I was told this wanna be doctor wanted me 2 see another doctor because he has training in what I specifically have. Why he couldn’t tell me is trying 2 figure out how this moron thinks and I don’t have the skill set 2 know or waste my time trying.

    I really feel discriminated against because I am poor, can’t work anymore, waiting 4 disability. Every time I call the office in the cardiology department and ask questions the people at the front desk answer and say: “they don’t have access 2 this information,” and I wonder am I calling the CIA instead. Then this 1 time I was asked if I wanted 2 leave a message on the clinician phone line so I said yes, but was surprised when this woman answered and asked if I was transferred from the front desk and I said yes and she started laughing on the phone, very unprofessional so I told her she’s unprofessional 2 laugh with a patient on the phone, that if she hates her job this much I could come in and do her job as I have office experience but no medical background, so she then asked if I wanted 2 be transferred 2 a doctor and I said yes and was bounced around the office, not 1 person ever picking up the phone 4 about 10 minutes so then I just hung up after the long wait.Then I decided 2 become proactive and write a letter about my experience directly to this one department inside the hospital and 4 awhile no response came and then a woman left me a message that said want 2 talk 2 you in and out of office all day, leave me your number will get back 2 you, and I thought she’s suppose 2 be there when I call not me leaving a message 4 her and I 2 play phone tag. I chose not 2 leave my info as it proved 2 be a waste of time. Then shortly after this I got another call from a woman that said the guy that used 2 be in the department for issues is no longer there, she’s here and what do I want 2 talk about and I asked her if she got the letter I sent, and she said no she just got a message from someone saying 2 call me but didn’t know why.

    Has anyone out there ever been treated like this? I believe it’s a game called “Pass the buck,” because no one wants 2 be held accountable for what they are suppose 2 be doing and this is how these folks keep their jobs. The recent appointment with cardiologist that has experience in what I have is head of the cardiology department and I spy he doesn’t have a clue as 2 what’s really going on over there, or doesn’t care. And why should I waste my time going back there. The best cardiologist doctor they had is now gone transferred either conveniently or by his choice. And what’s left is unqualified people at best.

    I’ve thought about writing a letter 2 him but then decide against it, would anything get resolved? I’m left in limbo land just taking the prescribed medicine and hopefully trying 2 locate another hospital with qualified caring doctors who care about the patients they treat.

    Maybe I should talk 2 an attorney about my experience 2 see what options are available. Or file a discrimination lawsuit.

    Looking 4 opinions from other folks out there that have had similar experiences. And advice since I don’t know everything and don’t plan on knowing everything am a life long learner.

    Thanks 4 listening!!

    • Julie Gentleman says:

      sorry that you have had so much trouble in getting treatment for your condition. Do not give up if this Cardiology office does not come through for you go to another one. You have to become your own advocate. There is medicine out there that will help you. I was in your shoes a year-and-a-half ago and I found a doctor that would prescribe adempas for me. It has made a world of difference and I feel better now than I have in the last 2 years. My activity tolerance has improved and I am now doing everything I was doing 2 years ago. It is hard but do not give up!

  2. ann b wall says:

    Dear MS Rice, Sorry you are having such a difficult time with your care. PH treatment is a specialty and there are certified centers. IF you look on line you many find one near you. I would recommend you get all you medical records to include CD’s of your cardiac cath ,X-rays and any scans.I want you to know that PH or PAH (the same ) is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions ,sadly you are not alone. I went to 4 pulmonologists and a cardiologistsand was told it was in my mind despite many tests, some improperly done, some results pointing to PAH not put together.I ended up at University of Penn, and I am doing well due to the excellent care of DR HAROLD PALEVSKY. Please let us know if you can find a center. You are doing the right move by following the PH news. Online support is available. I hope you receive the care you need. A qualified team can help you with your disability paperwork too. I hope you have friends and family to help also,I am blessed with that. BEST regards to you ,ann

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