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Pulmonary Hypertension is an increase in the pressure of blood flowing through the lungs. The results of this can be seen on the right side of the heart, which is the side that pumps blood to the lungs. If it goes on long enough or is bad enough then people develop a back up of blood on the right side of the heart. This is called congestive heart failure. The longer someone has pulmonary hypertension the greater the likelihood for long term damage—so your question is a good one. It would make sense that if something can be done to reverse your condition then you should do it, and do it soon.

Some cases of pulmonary hypertension are reversible, depending upon the cause.

Some cases of pulmonary hypertension are reversible, depending upon the cause. Hyperthyroidism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are two of those reversible causes. If someone has too much thyroid hormone then taking measures to bring the amount of thyroid hormone down can bring the pressures in the lungs down and bring the blood flow back to a more normal level.  If someone is not getting enough oxygen while they sleep as in obstructive sleep apnea, helping them with a machine that helps them take deep breaths at night (known as a CPAP machine) can also bring the pressures in the lungs down and bring the blood flow back to a more normal level.

It is not known if it is possible for lifestyle changes, like our program, to help other cases. There are newer technologies that make it easier to measure pressure changes in the pulmonary arteries so that it may be possible to study this in the future.

Contributed by

Ben Brown, MD
Medical Director, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

To your best health!

in collaboration with...

Dean Ornish, MD.
Program Founder

Awareness is the first step in healing. Just Ask!

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