The problem of high blood pressure in men is a common one and can even occur in men under the age of 35. There are many treatments for high blood pressure that work on men as well as on women who have this disease.
Unfortunately, many young men who have no symptoms of hypertension often don’t see the doctor about it or, if it is detected in the office, the man does not come back to have it rechecked for another five years, believing that hypertension is a disease of older men.
According to statistics, men under the age of 35 are far less likely to believe that they have high blood pressure and aren’t likely to seek further medical attention when the diagnosis of hypertension is made.
Hypertension that goes untreated at any age can cause heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. In fact, heart disease is the #1 killer of men in America, and is really a major problem around the world. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms until end organ damage has already taken place.
The Definition of High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is described as the top number or systolic blood pressure during a heartbeat and a bottom number, which is the pressure of the heart, beat during the resting state of the heart, called the diastolic number. A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80.
High blood pressure is divided into several categories:
- Normal BP – This is less than 130/80.
- Prehypertension – This is less than 140/90.
- Hypertension – This is greater than or equal to 140/90.
- Stage 2 Hypertension – This is between 140/90 and 160/100.
Hypertension can be essential hypertension, in which there is no known cause and secondary hypertension, which can be caused by cocaine abuse, alcohol abuse, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances. Half of the entire adult population has either prehypertension or hypertension. As older people are more likely to get hypertension, almost everyone has prehypertension or hypertension at some point in their lives.
Types of Hypertension
Young men with high blood pressure usually have diastolic hypertension, while the older man is more likely to suffer from systolic hypertension. Younger men are getting hypertension because of obesity, which is on the rise. Men of all races are affected by high blood pressure.
Treatment of High Blood Pressure
The treatment of high blood pressure in men is to change the lifestyle and, if that doesn’t work, take medications. Treatments include the following:
- Weight loss – Keep the weight within the target rate by staying within a normal body mass index of 18.5-24.9.
- Eat a DASH diet – This includes a low sodium diet that is rich in fruits, low fat dairy products, and vegetables. Eat about a teaspoon of sodium or 2,400 mg per day.
- Engage in physical activity – Try to exercise at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week.
- Drink alcohol in moderation – This means consuming no more than 2 drinks of an alcoholic beverage per day.
Men with hypertension are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction, something most men do not want to deal with. The risk of erectile dysfunction in hypertensive men is 2.5 times that of normal men.
Risk factors for hypertension include having “metabolic syndrome,” which also causes diabetes and heart disease in men. Other risk factors are obesity, elevated cholesterol, insulin resistance, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Men should also manage their anger if they want to have normal blood pressure. Anger causes annoyance and rage along with biological changes that affect blood pressure. Men who hold in their anger are more likely to get hypertension than men who let their anger out.
Some men have white coat syndrome, which means they only have hypertension when seen in a doctor’s office. A recent study showed, however, that men with white coat syndrome are likely to lead to hypertension in other, less stressful symptoms.
The longer you wait until the treatment of hypertension, the more end organ damage can happen. This means that men, young or old, should begin to adopt some of the lifestyle changes just talked about and possibly take medication in order to manage the blood pressure.