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The Epidemic Called Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)

Aug 17, 2007
In the recent soar of the amount of people suffering from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, we ask a question. What is the cause of this epidemic? After years of research and study, doctors have discovered one of many possible answers. Several drugs, all of which are hunger suppressant drugs, have a viable link to the epidemic. The drugs include: Dexfenfluramine, Aminorex and Fenfluramine. Since the release of this medical news, millions of people who consumed Fen Phen now believe their ailments are due to Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. It is a deadly disease that is able to occur within a person who has never taken any of the above drugs. Only occurring in less than three people per million, it is an extremely rare disease.

People suffering from PPH experience several different symptoms. Being short breathed, also known as dyspnea, feelings of fatigue, continuous pain felt in the chest area, and dizziness are just a few of the minor symptoms a person with the disease may experience. When a person develops it, his or her blood pressure will dramatically rise in the pulmonary arteries. The specific action of the pulmonary arteries blood pressure rising is called hypertension. To simplify the definition into non-medical terms, Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is dangerously high blood pressure in the lungs. Typically, low oxygenated blood is brought from the right ventricle of the heart through the pulmonary arteries. Afterwards the hearts right side will pump the low oxygenated blood into both sides of the lungs. This is how the body receives much-needed oxygen. Following voyage through the right side of the heart and then to the left side, the blood is able to travel through the aorta to the rest of the body.

However, with someone suffering from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, the body works inappropriately. The lungs very small blood vessels transform and then seal. When this occurs, the closed blood vessels prevent the flow of blood, thus causing the pressure in the pulmonary artery to increase about three times. Since PPH is such a harmful and often deadly disease, the typical rate of survival after being diagnosed is generally less then thirty-six months. Uncommon in most cases of it, early detection and early treatment can prolong the three year average up to ten years.

Cured of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension:

Like many other deadly diseases, Primary Pulmonary Hypertension has no known cure. However, one does not have to live in discomfort and a fear of the disease consuming them. Medications and treatments are available to help ease the unpleasant symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Although some do not see the purpose of a medicine without a cure, many people give thanks that they are able to continue their lives in an orderly manner.

There are many different ways in which Primary Pulmonary Hypertension patients may receive treatment. They may receive oxygen, diuretics, or calcium channel blockers. Each treatment is different and each treatment should be considered. Although there are many conventional ways to ease the symptoms of PPH, there also a few forms of treatment that have not yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

The simple procedure of administering oxygen to a PPH patient can be very beneficial in relieving difficulties in breathing. In addition to relieving strenuous breathing, administering oxygen also helps to relax the lungs artery muscles. Another advantage to receiving oxygen is that the pressure in the lungs will decrease to a reasonable level. When an excessive amount of fluid builds up around the heart, PPH patients receive diuretics. When patients receive diuretics, the doctors must be extremely careful. The reason such precaution must be taken is, the patient must not get entirely dehydrated. With an already poorly functioning ventricle system, dehydration can cause the blood to stop being pumped to the lungs.

Another method of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension treatment is through calcium channel blockers. An example of this would be nifedipine, a muscle relaxant. Nifedipine specifically relaxes the muscles that are found in the walls of blood vessels. Even though this form of treatment appears quite pleasant, it often is not. Although the right side of the heart is able to function more efficiently, the blood pressure may be decreased throughout the entire cardiovascular system. Thus, it may create somewhat of an unpleasant situation for the PPH patient. A couple forms of treatment still in the experimental phase include the inhalation of Nitric Oxide and the use of prostacycline. The purpose of inhaling nitric oxide is to relax the lung's blood vessels. When inhaling the nitric oxygen, the rest of the body does not feel the effects.
About the Author
Tim Dillard has worked with some of the largest law firms in America. Dillard is currently the host of Tops In Texas, (http://www.topsintexas.com) and president of Dillard Local Branding (http://www.dlbllc.com), a Houston-based web design, Internet marketing and search engine marketing firm.
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