High blood pressure - what to ask your doctor

Definition

When your heart pumps blood into your arteries, the pressure in these arteries is called your blood pressure. Your blood pressure is reported as two numbers: systolic over diastolic blood pressure.

When your blood pressure gets too high, it puts extra stress on your heart and blood vessels. If your blood pressure stays high all the time, you will be at a higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and other health problems.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your blood pressure.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about high blood pressure; Hypertension - what to ask your doctor

Questions

How can I change the way I live to lower my blood pressure?

Should I check my blood pressure at home?

What is my cholesterol? Do I need to take medicines for it?

Is it okay to be sexually active? Is it safe to use sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis) if I’m a man?

What medicines am I taking to treat high blood pressure?

How much exercise or activity can I do?


Review Date: 2/24/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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