Your health care professional is a valuable partner in helping you set a blood pressure (BP) goal in order to work together in managing BP numbers. We want to help keep this partnership productive and the conversations going. Here we've provided some ways you can play an active role in your own care and prepare for doctor visits—both of which can lead to more productive discussions.
Here are valuable resources that can help you make the most of the time you have with your doctor:
A little preparation can go a long way
Here are additional things to think about as you prepare for your doctor visits.
What is your BP goal?
Everyone's BP goal is different, but medical guidelines state that a normal BP for most adults is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Drug treatment is recommended if your BP is consistently at or above 140/90 mm Hg. Only your health care professional can determine what your BP goal should be. Then, together, you can develop or adjust your treatment and management plan accordingly.
Reaching your BP goal
Setting a BP goal is the first step toward lowering your high BP. Reaching your BP goal generally involves the following:
Self-monitor. Checking your high BP regularly between doctor visits can help you see if your medications and lifestyle choices are helping to lower your BP numbers—or if it's time to talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment and management plan.
Take medications as prescribed. Some studies show that only half of people taking high BP medication take it in the right dosage at the right time. Be sure to speak to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you are taking your medications correctly.
Visit the doctor regularly. Your visits with the doctor are a key component of your overall treatment. That's why it's important to be prepared to discuss your BP numbers and how you have been feeling. To make the most of your visits, download the Doctor Discussion Guide.
Keep up your healthy lifestyle habits. Lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise and healthy diet, have been shown to reduce high BP, enhance the effectiveness of high BP medication, and decrease cardiovascular risk. Stay motivated with the BP Action Plan.
Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or diet program.