Talking to a healthcare provider about your blood pressure

Your Healthcare Provider Will Ask You Questions

Talk to your healthcare provider about your health problems, symptoms, and expectations. Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your lifestyle and health history in order to understand what factors may be affecting your blood pressure and your health. These questions can include:

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have a history of heart disease or other health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or high cholesterol?
  • Does anyone in your family have a history of heart disease (heart attack, heart failure, stroke, heart surgery)?
  • Do you currently take any medications?
  • Do you exercise? How much?
  • How is your daily diet (what do you eat on a daily basis)? Do you eat vegetables, meats, breads? What kinds?
  • Do you smoke, how much? Do you drink alcohol, how much?

Knowing this information will help your healthcare provider treat any health issues you may have. Try to be honest-you will not be judged. Your healthcare provider needs to know as much information as possible to help you.

Ask Your Healthcare Provider Questions

Ask your healthcare provider questions about your health and your blood pressure. You will learn new information or ways to manage your blood pressure and find answers to questions you may have about your health. Talking to your healthcare provider about high blood pressure is the first step in controlling your blood pressure and reducing your chance for developing heart disease.

Click here to get a list of questions you may write down or print and bring to your next doctor's visit.

Talk About Blood Pressure Medication

If you take blood pressure medication, ask your healthcare provider how you should be taking your pills and how many pills you should be taking. You may want to start talking to your healthcare provider by asking the following questions:

  1. How many pills do I need to take per day?
  2. Should I be taking these pills every day? How often should I take my pills?
  3. What time in the day should I take my pills?
  4. Are there other medications I should not take with my blood pressure pills?
  5. Does my blood pressure medication have side effects?

You may print and use this form to help you keep track of important information related to your blood pressure medication, click here to download.

It is important that you take your blood pressure medication as your healthcare provider instructed. If you do not take your blood pressure medication as your healthcare provider instructed, your blood pressure mostly likely will not improve . Your chance for developing heart disease or stroke will also increase.

If your blood pressure medication does not make you feel well, talk to your healthcare provider or local pharmacist before stopping your medication.

Click here to see a list of blood pressure medications.

Sources:

American Society of Hypertension. Blood pressure and your health. http://www.ash-us.org/For-Patients/ASH-BP-Your-Health-Booklet.aspx

Food and Drug Administration. Medicines to help you, high blood pressure. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/FreePublications/UCM282311.pdf

National Heart Lung Blood Institute. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/express.pdf

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