Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension occurs when blood circulation through your lungs is restricted by narrowed blood vessels. To maintain blood flow through these narrowed blood vessels, pulmonary artery pressure increases. Pulmonary hypertension can occur by itself, but is often caused by an existing disease. It is a rare condition that mostly affects women in their 30s or 40s.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom is shortness of breath with exercise, progressing to shortness of breath while at rest. Other symptoms are:

What Causes It?

Many cases have no known cause. Some conditions that are associated with pulmonary hypertension include the following.

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider will give you a thorough examination and order laboratory tests to diagnose your condition.

Treatment Options

If your pulmonary hypertension is the result of an underlying disease, that disease must be treated. You must avoid excessive physical stress or exercise. If your disease has progressed, you may be advised to have lung or heart–lung transplantation.

Drug Therapies

Some treatments your health care provider may use include the following.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Nutrition Herbs
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Combine the following herbs in equal parts in tincture form and take 30 drops three to four times per day. Homeopathy
Homeopathy may be useful as a supportive therapy.

Physical Medicine
Caster oil pack. Apply oil directly to chest, cover with a clean soft cloth and plastic wrap. Place a heat source over the pack and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Use for three consecutive days.

Contrast hydrotherapy. Alternate hot and cold applications to the chest. Alternate three minutes hot with one minute cold. Repeat three times to complete one set. Do two to three sets per day. For very sick patients use cool and warm applications to decrease the contrast.

Steams. Using three to six drops of essential oils in a humidifier, vaporizer, atomizer, or warm bath will stimulate respiration and circulation. Consider eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, or lavender.

May support treatment of symptoms through an increase in circulation.

Following Up

The prognosis for pulmonary hypertension is generally poor.

Special Considerations

For the most part, women who have primary pulmonary hypertension should not get pregnant because the condition is dangerous for both mother and baby.


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