Can a Primary Care Provider Give Treatment for High Blood Pressure?
Did you know a primary care doctor can work with your cardiologist if you have blood pressure?
Your primary care doctor is usually the initial health care professional to begin treatment for high blood pressure. They commonly identify hypertension during annual checkups or while addressing various health issues and illnesses.
Primary care doctors act as your partner in diagnosing and treating high blood pressure. They can also identify the underlying causes of your high blood pressure and provide lifestyle advice to help you better manage your condition.
Getting the Right Treatment
With the right treatment, it’s possible to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. This reduces the risk of complications associated with high blood pressure, such as heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure is considered a chronic condition in primary care. Chronic conditions are those that are long-lasting and generally require ongoing management and treatment.
Hypertension requires continual monitoring and management through lifestyle changes, medication or both, to maintain blood pressure levels within a healthy range and prevent associated health complications.
A primary care physician is dedicated to delivering care tailored to each patient’s needs and preferences. They make a concerted effort to ensure you are fully informed and at ease with the proposed treatment approach.
Medical Interventions with a Specialist
Your primary care provider acts as a navigator for your health, which means they will collaborate with a heart specialist to track your health status and modify your treatment plan when necessary.
You might be referred to a cardiologist if you have a family history of heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or abnormal heart symptoms.
Your doctor can explain the referral process and the potential benefits of seeing a specialist.
Lifestyle changes are an effective way to help manage and treat high blood pressure. Here are some lifestyle changes that may prove beneficial:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Add regular physical activity
- Reduce sodium intake
- Lose excess weight
- Cut back on alcohol consumption
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Manage stress
- Quit smoking
A family physician will take the time to listen to and understand your concerns before proposing any changes. You should feel heard and respected by your doctor and trust them enough to make positive lifestyle changes.
A primary care provider offers medications to help treat high blood pressure. Your health care provider may prescribe one or a combination of medications. Commonly prescribed medications for controlling high blood pressure include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
A primary care provider will provide empathy and understanding when discussing these issues with you.
Regular checkups help identify potential complications and monitor your condition over time. These visits allow the doctor to gauge how effective lifestyle changes or medications are working to control high blood pressure.
Regular checkups also help identify other health complications that may be linked to high blood pressure. This includes diabetes and heart disease.
Checkups give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your condition or treatment plan.
A primary care provider will give reassurance and support during treatment.
A primary care provider diagnoses high blood pressure by:
- Evaluating the medical history
- Performing a physical examination
- Checking blood pressure level readings
The doctor will measure your average blood pressure over several visits to determine if it is high.
If your blood pressure readings are consistently higher than normal, your doctor may refer you for further testing. This may include an electrocardiogram, or ECG, to check for underlying heart problems.
Your diagnosis is often a difficult thing to process. It helps to have a primary care doctor who understands your unique situation and provides support.