Living with PPH

PPH has no cure, but you can work with your doctor to manage your symptoms and slow the progress of the disease. In addition to medications, you can make changes to your daily life that will help you make the most of each day and help you manage your symptoms by taking an active, healthy approach to some basics.

Nutrition

A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. A healthy diet also is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugar.

Be sure to ask your health-care team if you need to limit the amount of salt and fluids in your diet or limit foods that contain vitamin K. These foods can affect how well blood-thinning medicines work. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and some oils, such as canola and soybean oil.

Physical Activity

Stay or become physically active; for example, walk daily. This will keep your muscles strong and help you maintain your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about how much activity is safe for you. You may need to limit or avoid certain activities, such as:

  • Activities that cause straining, such as lifting heavy objects or weights
  • Being in a hot tub or sauna or taking long baths, which can lower your blood pressure too much.
  • Flying in an airplane or traveling to high-altitude areas—you may need to use oxygen during air travel.

Managing Home, Family, Daily Tasks

People with PPH may need to make some changes to better manage their family life, handle daily tasks, and enjoy their lives.

Lifestyle changes may include small daily adjustments or more complex long-term decisions regarding where and how you live, including:

  • Making laundry areas more accessible
  • Rearranging kitchen tools for easy access
  • Modifying showers/baths
  • Managing kids' daily needs, from transportation to school materials and meals
  • Arranging for regular and emergency child care
  • Securing handicapped parking
  • Managing family outings and home activities
  • Finding resources to ease daily and weekly house chores
  • Limiting use of stairs

Organizations like the Pulmonary Hypertension Association help people share information about lifestyle changes that can improve quality of life.