Flatbush Family Practice

Alford Smith, MD

Family Medicine Practice located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY

Around 45% of American adults have hypertension, but many don't know their health is at risk because the disease doesn't often cause symptoms. Alford Smith, MD, and his team diagnose and treat high blood pressure with counseling, lifestyle adjustments, and medication at Flatbush Family Practice, in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Call or schedule a consultation online today if you're due for a physical or are concerned about your blood pressure.

Hypertension Q & A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when your blood puts too much force on the insides of your blood vessels as it circulates through your body. It’s a significant contributing factor to your risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Your blood pressure is measured with two numbers. The higher number is your systolic pressure, which represents the force exerted when your heart beats. The lower number is your diastolic pressure, which occurs when your heart rests between beats. 

Healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mm/Hg or lower. Anything higher is considered elevated, and you have hypertension when your blood pressure reaches 130/80 mm Hg. 

What causes hypertension?

While your family medical history contributes to your chances of developing high blood pressure, your lifestyle also plays a significant role in your risk. For example, some of the unhealthy choices that contribute to hypertension include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating foods high in salt, fat, and sugar
  • Not getting enough physical activity

Health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and sleep apnea, can also cause hypertension. Chronic stress is also a common contributing factor. 

When should I talk to a doctor about hypertension?

You should have your blood pressure checked at your annual physical and talk about your health with your physician. Hypertension doesn't usually cause any symptoms. Many people don't know they have high blood pressure or that their health is at risk until they have a heart attack or stroke. 

The team at Flatbush Family Practice keeps secure, private health records that allow them to monitor your health for any changes. If they notice an upward trend in your blood pressure, they can recommend treatment. 

How do you treat high blood pressure?

The team at Flatbush Family Practice creates personalized treatment plans to lower your blood pressure and restore your health. In some cases, you might be able to lower your blood pressure with lifestyle adjustments, including:

  • Dietary changes
  • Adding daily exercise to your routine
  • Losing weight
  • Smoking cessation

However, if your condition is advanced and lifestyle changes don't lower your blood pressure, your provider can prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure, including diuretics, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. 

Call Flatbush Family Practice today or make an appointment online for expert hypertension management services.