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Are You Developing PPH?

Feb 25, 2008
There is a rare condition you or a loved one may have called primary pulmonary hypertension (or PPH), which has uncertain causes and is difficult for health care professionals to study. Anyone at any age, even young children, can develop it; however, it is most commonly reported in women between the ages of 20 and 40.

Simply put, PPH causes a rise in blood pressure to abnormal levels and contracts symptoms such as fatigue, breathing problems such as hyperventilating, dizziness, possible fainting, ankle or leg swollenness, bluish discoloration in the lips or other body parts, chest pain, coughing up blood, progressive weakness, and lightheadedness.

While some of these symptoms tend to develop at later stages than others, it is likely that the first symptoms you will experience will be related to fatigue. Also be warned that because the illness can take up to several years (the median is three years) to come to fuller development, your diagnosis may be delayed. You may have a better chance of survival if you have not had heart failure or been diagnosed until after the age of 40.

There is some speculation that PPH develops because of the sensitivity of the blood vessels to certain factors. These may include Raynaud's syndrome, appetite suppressants, cocaine, or HIV, the latter three of which are believed to trigger the constriction of the pulmonary artery. Still other causes may be scleroderma or systemic lupus erythematosus. Statistically, the condition has increased to as much as about 1,000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the United States.

There are some PPH treatments that you can try, although they can vary from patient to patient according to their needs. They include the following: calcium channel-blocking drugs (appropriate for only about one out of every four patients); intravenous prostacyclin with the use of a battery-powered infusion pump; anticoagulants; diuretics, which reduce the amount of body fluid; supplemental oxygen which may be needed around the clock; or lung/heart-lung transplantation, which may be an approved method only after you are given a thorough evaluation at a lung transplantation center.

Overall, the therapy methods, which have been proposed over the past decade, should offer people like you hope of relief and an eventual return to normal functioning.

You cannot afford to take a gamble with the long-term risks you face from the threats of PPH. You should visit a doctor as soon as possible who has the latest technology available for detecting such illnesses in their early stages.
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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