Ask the Cardiologist About Treating High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

 

Frequently asked questions about treatment of high blood pressure.

What should you know about treating your high blood pressure?

Many patients have misconceptions on the treatment of hypertension. Many people fail to treat their high blood pressure because they can’t “feel” that it’s high. Even when they are told it is high, they think, “well I don’t need to treat it because I feel fine." Yet it is [high] and causing a lot of changes, including increasing their risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure later in life.  Even if a woman says to me, “if I lose 20 pounds my blood pressure will get better.” Yes, it might. But right now it needs to be treated until you lose the 20 pounds.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that does not cause any noticeable symptoms for years. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to know if it is high.

Yet, untreated high blood pressure can result in serious illnesses, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Diet and lifestyle changes may be enough to control mildly elevated blood pressure. Your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes if your blood pressure is moderately to severely high.

What can I do to avoid high blood pressure?

The American Heart Association says the following lifestyle choices can help reduce your blood pressure.

  • Don't smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Learn to cope with stress
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Limit your salt (sodium) intake and eat healthy foods
  • Take your medicine

Follow these guidelines if your doctor prescribes blood pressure medication:

  • Take all your medication as prescribed.
  • Take your pills at the same time each day.
  • Never skip your pills because you have side effects or don't believe your blood pressure is high. Call your doctor to discuss your concerns.
  • Refill your prescription before it runs out.
  • Don't stop taking your medication because your blood pressure tests normal. It's normal because you're taking the  medication.

Washington University cardiologists with the Heart & Vascular Center who diagnose and treats diseases of the heart and blood vessels including:

  • Cardiac care
  • Heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia)
  • Heart disease prevention

Office location
1020 North Mason Road, Suite 100
Medical Office Building 3
on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141

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Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141
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