Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can have devastating effects on your health and well-being if left untreated. Fortunately, primary care doctors are well equipped to diagnose and treat hypertension in order to help patients maintain optimal cardiovascular health.
In this article, we will talk about how a primary care doctor can help treat hypertension.
Reviewing Your Medical History
Primary care physicians offer a comprehensive approach when it comes to diagnosing and treating hypertension. First, they will take into account several variables, such as lifestyle habits (diet and exercise), family history of the disease, underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes and sleep apnea), medication use (prescription drugs or recreational use), alcohol consumption, and smoking to determine an individual’s risk profile for developing hypertension.
After a review of your medical history, the doctor may recommend certain tests, such as blood and urine tests and an echocardiogram, to get a full understanding of your health profile.A thorough review of your medical history is critical before making any recommendations regarding treatment options and preventive measures to improve outcomes.
The first step in creating an effective treatment plan for hypertension is identifying the cause of the patient’s elevated blood pressure levels. Common causes include stress, obesity or being overweight, smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products regularly, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, certain medications like birth control pills or steroids, kidney disease, thyroid issues, and obstructive sleep apnea. After determining what’s causing your high blood pressure, your doctor will typically recommend lifestyle modifications tailored specifically towards reducing risk factors associated with their diagnosis.
These modifications may include dietary changes, such as limiting sodium intake (getting no more than two teaspoons per day), eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol while increasing fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, and legumes, quitting smoking, getting moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days out of the week, drinking only moderate amounts of alcohol, if any at all, getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, and managing stress better through relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation. These simple but important steps can help reduce high blood pressure significantly.
Managing one’s blood pressure involves regular monitoring by way of taking measurements at home with a digital monitor device provided by the primary care physician, along with instructions on how best to utilize them properly, so readings stay accurate over time. These results then get reported back during follow-up visits, where decisions about potential changes needed in lifestyle choices, like dietary modifications and exercise regimens, can be discussed.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, primary care doctors may also prescribe medication(s) depending on the severity level type of case situation, which could includebeta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), alpha-2 agonists, and vasodilators. Medication helps lower blood pressure and keep it within a healthy range over time, thus preventing potential long-term complications that may arise from unchecked high blood pressure.
Having good communication and a working relationship between you and your primary physician is greatly beneficial when dealing with health matters, not only because they’re highly trained and experienced professionals, but they can also provide individualized care and invaluable support. Seeing someone has your back whenever questions arise concerning diagnosis, treatment, and how to apply changes to your lifestyle ensures the best outcomes in the long run.
Primary Care Doctor in The Bronx, NY
At Starling Diagnostics, we can provide comprehensive care for patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure, in The Bronx. We have an internal medicine physician and interventional cardiologist – both of whom have held teaching positions in the most reputable health systems and schools of medicine, such as Northwell Health, Hofstra University, and Columbia University – on our team, ready to provide you with expert and compassionate care.
To schedule an appointment with our primary care doctor, call our office today at (718) 319-1610, or use our convenient online request form.