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What To Do After A Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis

Mar 3, 2008
After a person has been diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), he or she is often frightened and confused. Because it is so rare, most people do not know what the symptoms are or expect to get the disease.

Many people have not even heard of primary pulmonary hypertension, and some of those who have are only aware of it because of the television commercials for lawsuits related to it. One of the biggest problems with PPH is that people do not know how a person gets it. There are some assumptions, but there are no guarantees.

It is believed that there might be a genetic disposition to the disease, and that people with certain connective tissue disorders might be at higher risk. One of the possible causes of the disease which has only recently come to light, though, is medication.

It was long believed that conditions like HIV and illegal drugs such as cocaine could cause it in some people, but new evidence has shown that compounds in some popular diet drugs can also foster development of the disease. Most of the primary pulmonary hypertension lawsuits, which are being dealt with today, are due to diet drugs and the dangers that they can cause.

These are the same types of drugs, which caused heart valve defects in many people years ago, and now they are also being linked to PPH, which is also a very serious concern. Some feel that this is even more serious. Heart valves can generally be fixed or replaced, but this disease can cause so much damage that a lung transplant or a heart and lung transplant can be needed.

Most people do not understand PPH symptoms. This is unfortunate, because these symptoms must be noted so that a diagnosis can be made. Only by doing this can PPH be adequately treated. There is no cure for PPH, but there is a way to treat the symptoms so that the patient can feel better and have a better quality of life for a longer period of time. The average PPH patient lives about three years once they are diagnosed, but the length of time a person survives and how well they feel is extremely variable. Some people have only a few months, and others live for many years, some of them doing quite well.

They generally do this by making some lifestyle modifications and by taking PPH medication to help dilate the blood vessels in the lungs so that they receive more oxygen rich blood to the organs and tissues throughout their body. Without doing that, these people will often suffer severe shortness of breath, chest pain, and chronic fatigue, among many other things. Individuals with PPH can struggle with this for some time, and it makes it very difficult for their loved ones as well. The individuals who have to see people they care for slowly deteriorate from PPH often fight their own battles with anxiety, depression, and other issues.

Naturally, if primary pulmonary hypertension is caught quickly, medications can stop the progression of the disease in most people, allowing them to go back to having a basically normal life. Unfortunately, because the symptoms come on slowly in the early stages, and because the symptoms are so similar to other problems, the disease is often not detected until it has already progressed to a very dangerous level.

People with PPH symptoms should be thoroughly checked out by their doctor, and should not give up on medical testing and intervention until they learn for certain whether they have primary pulmonary hypertension or some other condition. Only through this kind of vigilance can it be controlled.
About the Author
Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving Fen-Phen and PPH, Paxil, Mesothelioma, and Avandia. Call Nick Johnson at 1-888-311-5522 or visit http://www.johnsonlawgroup.com
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