How Is Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosed
Because pulmonary hypertension may be caused by many medical conditions, a complete medical history, physical exam, and description of your symptoms are necessary to rule out other diseases and make the correct diagnosis. During the physical exam, your healthcare provider will:
- Listen for abnormal heart sounds, such as a loud pulmonic valve sound, a systolic murmur of tricuspid regurgitation, or a gallop due to ventricular failure.
- Examine the jugular vein in the neck for engorgement .
- Examine the abdomen, legs, and ankles for fluid retention.
- Examine nail beds for bluish tint.
- Look for signs of other underlying diseases that might be causing pulmonary hypertension.
Other tests that might be ordered include:
- Complete blood count : Tests for infection, elevated hemoglobin, and anemia.
- B-type natriuretic peptide : A marker for heart failure.
What Are The Signs Of Ankle Swelling
Ankle swelling due to diabetes is easy to diagnose. Some of its signs include:
Skin that is stretched, shiny, or puffy
Skin with pits that is, it stays dimpled for several seconds after pressing
Pain or loss of sensitivity in your hands or feet
Your hands or feet feel heavy and hard to move
You should make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any of these signs as a diabetic. Your doctor may conduct further tests to confirm the diagnosis or understand its underlying causes, including ordering an X-ray, an electrocardiogram , blood tests, or a urine test .
Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40’s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.
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When To Consult A Doctor
If the swelling on your ankle, foot, legs, or arms is something newly experienced, or if it is chronic but doesnt improve even after these home remedies, see your doctor.
You should also seek urgent medical care if the swelling is only on one side of your body, as this could signify a blood clot in your veins.
Other causes for concern include the following:
Increasingly painful swelling
Reduced sensation in the legs or arms
Difficulty moving the affected limbs
Scarring between layers of tissue
Sores, bruises, and infections in the affected area
Shortness of breath
The last three are medical emergencies that could signal a pulmonary embolism or heart attack. Always keep your doctor in the loop and follow their recommendations to manage your diabetes and reduce ankle swelling.
How Common Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition, it is estimated that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have high blood pressure but are not getting treatment for it.
In 90-95% of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure. But all available evidence shows that lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.
Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- being overweight
- excessive alcohol consumption.
Also, for reasons not fully understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origin are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.
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How To Reduce The Swelling
Once your doctor has diagnosed the problem and the underlying causes, you can incorporate the following home remedies to reduce swelling in your ankles.
Keep your feet elevated
Standing for long periods of time causes blood and other fluids to pool at the lower extremities. When seated or lying down, put your feet up in an elevated position above the level of the heart.
For this, consider getting an ottoman or a foot hammock that you can put under your desk at work. You can also use pillows or special elevation devices in bed to keep your feet elevated and help the blood to flow back into the heart.
Wear compression socks
Compression socks are garments made of elastic materials that gently squeeze the legs. They help boost circulation by supporting the veins and reducing the backup of fluids. Compression socks are consumer-grade, so you can buy them online or from various stores.
Keep in mind that compression socks have different levels of compression. Talk to your doctor, who will determine the exact level of compression you need to manage your swollen feet and how to use them correctly.
Even though it might sound counterintuitive, drinking more water helps you get rid of edema and swollen feet. Thats because insufficient hydration causes the body to retain water in the cells and tissue while drinking more water helps it flush out excess fluids.
Reduce your sodium intake
Exercise more often
Increase your magnesium intake
Get an Epsom soak
Manage your weight
Ankle Swelling Due To High Blood Pressure Medicines
Published on 25 November 2021
Do you experience swelling at your ankles which your doctor has diagnosed to be due to your blood pressure medicines? Continue reading to know more about this side effect of some blood pressure medicines.
Drugs to treat high blood pressure belong to several groups depending on the way they produce their effect. Sometimes, drugs from different groups are combined to achieve a better control of the blood pressure or to mitigate the side effects caused by each other.
Some of the commonly used groups of drugs used to treat hypertension include:
The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors such as enalapril, benazepril, fosinopril and lisinopril
The angiotensin receptor blockers such as losartan, valsartan and candesartan
The calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine and nifedipine.
Ankle swelling due to calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers are commonly used to treat hypertension and angina. These drugs sometimes result in swelling in the feet or around the ankles. Though some people may not notice it, others may find it disturbing and even stop taking their medication, which could result in serious consequences.
Dealing with the Ankle Swelling
If you are taking a calcium channel blocker and experience ankle swelling, do not modify the treatment on your own.
Once the cause is confirmed as due to the medication, the physician may advise simple measures such as raising the feet while sitting or lying down.
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Things To Eat Lower Blood Pressure
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Is This A Serious Problem
It is more of an irritant than anythingelse but over time, it can put pressure on the ankles. This leads toskin abscesses, varicose veins and skin ulcers. This may not seem likesomething to be unduly worried about but any fluid retention needs tobe investigated further as it could be the sign of something serious.
In regard to symptoms, the most obviousone is that of swelling around the ankles. But if this is the sign ofan underlying disorder then it may lead to swelling in other areas ofthe body such as the feet and lower legs.
Other symptoms may develop which includepuffy eyes, weight gain, frequent need to urinate, swollen hands/wristsand headaches. This swelling can also cause high blood pressure.
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How To Get Blood Pressure Down Even After You Have Taken Your Meds
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Treating Swelling And Oedema
Treatment for swelling or oedema that does not go away on its own depends on the cause.
It may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or going on a low-salt diet.
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE
Page last reviewed: 25 March 2021 Next review due: 25 March 2024
Why Does High Blood Pressure Cause Edema In The Legs And Feet
High blood pressure places you at risk for heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke and end-stage kidney disease and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1/3 of American adults have hypertension, but only about 1/2 of them have their blood pressure controlled. Hypertension usually does not cause symptoms until it produces end-organ damage, which can involve your eyes, heart, kidneys, nervous system or arteries. If you have high blood pressure, swelling, also called edema, in the feet and legs could be a sign of end-organ damage.
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Blood Pressure And Your Foot Health
30th September 2019
Your level of blood pressure will determine whether all the areas of your body is receiving the quantity of blood required for energy and movement. This is because red blood cells carry oxygen through the veins and arteries. Blood pressure is caused by the contraction of your heart muscle that pumps the blood. Thus, high blood pressure means that the heart muscle is working overtime to deliver blood, causing the heart to thicken and become less effective.
High blood pressure is known as hypertension and this will vary in severity. When it comes to your foot health, high blood pressure can have a great impact. Primarily, this is caused when peripheral vascular disease causes blockages . PVD occurs as a result of high blood pressure, that damages the blood vessels and impacts their ability to carry the oxygen to all areas of the body.
High blood pressure is also commonly linked with diabetes. In fact, diabetics are 20 times more likely to have peripheral vascular disease than other people. If PVD and high blood pressure is not addressed, in severe cases, ulcerations can occur. These are likely to occur in the extremities of the body, thus the feet and the lower body.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Hydrochlorothiazide comes as a tablet, capsule, and solution to take by mouth. It usually is taken once or twice a day. When used to treat edema, hydrochlorothiazide may be taken daily or only on certain days of the week. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take hydrochlorothiazide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Hydrochlorothiazide controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take hydrochlorothiazide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking hydrochlorothiazide without talking to your doctor.
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Is This An Emergency
Chronic swelling in the legs as a symptom by itself isn’t typically a medical emergency. “Call and make an appointment with your primary care physician or cardiologist,” said Dr. Bhakta. The biggest concern with vein-related leg swelling is that the signs could also be connected to pulmonary hypertension.
The first thing your primary care physician or cardiologist likely will do is perform an ultrasound examination of your leg veins and an ultrasound of your heart, or an echocardiogram, according to Dr. Bhakta.
The most often recommended non-medical treatment is compression stockings, which compress the veins and ensure that blood continues to flow.
If the exam shows that the valve in a leg vein is deteriorating to a significant degree, your doctor may recommend venous ablation. In this procedure, a medical-grade adhesive seals off the damaged vein.
If your doctor determines that your leg swelling is related to pulmonary hypertension or heart failure , you’ll probably undergo additional tests to determine the best treatment. Treatments for both pulmonary hypertension and heart failure include medications and surgery.
Dealing With Vascular Disease
The first step in dealing with swollen ankles is to determine the cause of the swelling because there are many potential causes of edema in the lower leg.
Your doctor will begin with a conversation about the swelling, and this conversation will cover:
- Medical history – treatment for cancer, kidney disease, and other conditions can be a factor in the cause of your swollen ankles.
- Current medication.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
Testing for vascular disease is noninvasive and uses duplex ultrasound techniques that combine traditional and Doppler ultrasound to give a picture of narrowing in the blood vessels and blood flow.
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Regular Blood Pressure Checks If Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your blood pressure will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control.
After your blood pressure has been controlled, your GP or practice nurse will measure your blood pressure at agreed regular intervals .
It is important you attend these appointments to ensure your blood pressure is being maintained within an acceptable range.