Pulmonary hypertension is a serious heart problem that is never to be taken lightly. After all, it affects two of the most important organs of the body, the heart and the lungs. With this heart problem, the arteries carrying the blood from the right side of the lungs are constricted, which in turn, disrupts blood flow. With this kind of disrupted interaction, the distribution of oxygen and blood is dangerously affected.
Pulmonary hypertension (PAH) has no cure, but seeking treatment and following a healthy lifestyle can make living with the condition easier. If you receive this kind of diagnosis, it’s normal to experience difficulty in imagining the quality of life that’s ahead of you. But, as hard as it may be, it’s doable. You can still live your best life.
Specialists who focus on the best pulmonary medicine in Totowa, NJ agree that having a better quality of life can prolong one’s life. There are many strategies that one can implement into their life to cope with the disease. You can still work, travel, and even exercise, for as long as it’s in moderation.
Here’s some valuable advice on how to live better, despite having PAH.
Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension tend to retain water. Therefore, it’s essential for them to maintain a diet that keeps the body from holding excessive fluid.
If a person with PAH continues to consume too much salt and water, essentially his or her body can’t eliminate the excess. As a result, the fluid builds up in the legs and abdomen, making mobility difficult For others, this can also lead to complications, which can be deadly for patients with Pulmonary Hypertension..
Patients are advised not to exceed 2,000 milligrams of salt per day and around 8 cups of water daily. It helps to avoid foods that have excess salt including fries, canned food, frozen food and fast foods. The best diet includes eating lots of fruits and greens, whole grains, lean meats and fish. The patient should stay away from fats and added sugar.
All in all, having a healthy eating plan is an excellent foundation for other smart moves.
Eating healthy, in general, helps fight against other more complicated heart problems. These complicated heart problems can be the root cause of obesity, cholesterol, sleep apnea, and other diseases. When you’re already suffering from a life-threatening disease, the last thing that you’d want is to alleviate it even more.
Here are other tips to be guided by, when trying to control your diet:
- Monitoring fluid to decrease swelling.
- Limit drinking stimulants, like coffee and alcohol, as these can provoke irregularities in one’s blood pressure
- Choose food that’s rich in iron, such as orange, bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli
Exercise, but Don’t Go Overboard
Almost all PAH patients can benefit from engaging in light exercise. Joining a formal pulmonary rehab program is the best option. The programs help patients to build stamina and control their breathing as they work on exercising.
However, for those who can’t manage, it helps to consult a physician about other activities like walking or swimming. Additionally, there’s a special yoga program for people with PAH. Whatever form of exercise it is that you choose, it’s very important that this comes with approval from your doctor, just to stay on the safe side. Always remember that you should refrain from overdoing your exercise to such an extent that you’ll be breathless, or that you’ll start to feel any discomfort.
With the right exercise, patients are able to walk more, breathe clearer, and feel better about life in general. Muscle strengthening helps too but lifting objects that are heavier than 15 pounds should be avoided. That’s because heavy lifting can strain the heart.
Get Adequate Sleep and Rest
Having trouble sleeping is not good for anyone, and it is a frequent issue for persons with pulmonary hypertension. If one has another ailment, like sleep apnea, that can also prevent them from breathing properly when they’re asleep.
Lack of adequate sleep and rest can worsen PAH. Therefore, patients should inform their doctor immediately if they have trouble sleeping. The medical practitioner can test to see if sleep apnea or another condition exists.
Reach out For Support From Others
Getting support and forming connections with other people can be a valuable cornerstone for people living with PAH. It’s as essential as the medication. One can reach out via the traditional in-patient support groups, online platforms, or by volunteering in the community.
Additionally, patients should not hesitate to ask for help from family members when they cannot complete certain chores e.g., vacuuming.
Find a Medical Specialist
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex ailment, and it’s not well-understood by everyone in the medical community. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for treatment from a physician who specializes in the condition, like a pulmonologist or cardiologist.
You should also work with an expert that you’re comfortable with, so you can also talk freely and learn more about your disease.
In so doing, the management of your disease won’t only be dependent on that which you do at the hospital. You can also do your part in ensuring that your life still flows as normally as possible.
Take Excellent Care of the Catheter
Some pulmonary hypertension patients are implanted with a catheter on the chest to deliver a continuous flow of medicine. The risk of infection when handling the catheter can be reduced through washing one’s hands and wearing sterile gloves. It’s also important to consult the doctor on the proper measures to take.
Although PAH is serious and progressive, people suffering from it can stay productive and active. Don’t let this diagnosis be a life sentence for you. After all, patients with PAH today have a better prognosis for their life, than it was many years ago. Effective treatments for the condition are available, but they might take time to work fully. When dealing with any chronic disease, it’s essential to always try to maintain a positive attitude. These strategies can help you live your best life ever, with no worry about the disease that you now have.