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October 22, 2012,last updated February 17, 2016

By Joey Carney, Contributing Columnist

According to the American Heart Association, men under 45 are more
likely than women to have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure,
also called hypertension, is a serious danger to your health. It’s the
leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure,
high blood pressure is easily treatable with medication or by changing
one’s lifestyle, making it one of the most preventable causes of death in

High blood pressure is deadly. A 2011 study by the University of
Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital estimates that high blood
pressure causes 7.6 million deaths worldwide.


Even having blood pressure above 130/85, which is a bit above normal
(normal being 120/80), raises your risk for cardiovascular events by
2.3 times, according to a 2014 study led by Dr. Kei Asayama of the
University of Leuven in the Netherlands. ]

Although at least 20% of people in the US don’t know they have high
blood pressure, there are some clear signs that you should look out,
and some telltale side effects.  What are the signs of high blood
pressure in men? What should you do to help prevent high blood

Top 7 Side Effects of Hypertension in Men

1.        Erectile Dysfunction: The University of Lagos in Nigeria
published a report in 2010 which found that erectile dysfunction is also
a common side effect of men with high blood pressure who are not on
medication. Though the study found that women with hypertension
had orgasmic troubles as well, high blood pressure is much more likely
to cause sexual performance problems in men than women. Bottom line
is, if you are having trouble in bed, go see a doctor and make sure to
check your blood pressure.

In ways that doctors do not completely understand yet, hypertension
seems to be linked with changes in levels of sexual hormones. One
study in 1989 from the Medical University of South Carolina in
Charleston found that white men with high blood pressure have lower
levels of free testosterone and a sex hormone called androstenedione
in their blood. The study, led by Drs. Hughes and Mathur, also found
that women with high blood pressure have the opposite blood levels of
these hormones. Other studies have found that lower levels of
testosterone can produce signs you may recognize –low energy, lower
sexual drive, depression. (Read more about
foods that help to improve
erectile performance.)

Another link between sex hormones and hypertension has been found
in studies of licorice root. Licorice root causes hypertension. It also
depresses levels of testosterone, according to a 2004 study from the
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences-Endocrinology, University
of Padua, Italy .

Headaches: Some people with uncomplicated or severe
hypertension feel headaches or dizziness, usually when their blood
pressure is very high. An April 2000 article in the Journal of
Hypertension reported that headaches can be a sign of high blood
pressure. They did find, however, that having frequent headaches
doesn’t necessarily mean your blood pressure is high. But it may be
worth the investment of a blood pressure monitor just in case.

Blurred vision: Though not common except in later stages,
blurred vision is sometimes a sign of high blood pressure. The
University of Sidney published a case study in 2012 of a patient who
had been losing his vision for 6 months. Attributing it to age, when he
checked into the hospital the doctors found high blood pressure to be
one of the main causes.  

Shortness of breath: A 2012 study by Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago reported the prominence of
pulmonary hypertension. Among the patients they encountered, most
common were those with dyspnea (trouble breathing), exercise
intolerance, or right heart failure. Perhaps attributing it to being out of
shape, sufferers seldom see a doctor and miss the real cause of their
ailment. As shown in the report, there was a direct correlation between
shortness of breath and right heart failure.  

Nausea: According to, About 1% of people
with hypertension are diagnosed with severe high blood pressure on
their first visit to the doctor. They usually have extreme nausea,
headaches, and dizziness, and may require urgent treatment to avoid a
stroke. If you have let things get this far, see a doctor immediately. The
surest sign of high blood pressure is after you have had a stroke, a
heart attack or cardiac failure. At that point it is too late.

Feeling Tired?: The University of Rochester Department of
Cardiology cautions that while high blood pressure is generally
unnoticeable, fatigue is one of the few recognizable warning signs that
you may need a checkup. When your blood doesn’t have room to pump
sufficiently, your body doesn’t receive enough oxygen.

Kidney failure: Another extreme side effect, one’s kidneys can
fail due to very high blood pressure.

In a 2012 study of deaths caused by kidney damage by the University
of Sao Paolo, 59% of the deceased had preexisting cases of

A similar 2003 study by the National Kidney Foundation attributed high
blood pressure, diabetes, and age as the surest predictors of
damage or failure.

How to Prevent High Blood Pressure

One of the best things you can do to beat high blood pressure is to cut
way back on the amount of salt you’re eating.  Although it is common
knowledge that high sodium levels cause high blood pressure, the fact
that 1 in 3 people in the United States are above the safe level indicates
that they aren’t doing much about it. (Read more about
why you crave

If you eat like a typical American then there is a very good chance your
blood pressure is already too high. St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
in New York published an article in 2012 which examined the
effectiveness of salt-reduction.

They found that the obese, African Americans, and the elderly benefited
most, and concluded that your lifestyle is a sure predictor of high blood
pressure. (Read more about
foods that help to lower your blood

To sum up, though there are several telltale of signs and side effects of
high blood pressure, most people only realize they have a problem after
they have already had severe complications. Even if you lead a healthy
life, high blood pressure can be hereditary and is usually hidden. The
only sure way to know that you don’t have a problem is have your
blood pressure checked.  

Avoid excessive salt, eat healthy diet, exercise regularly, be honest
about whether you have erectile dysfunction and, most important of all,
have regular checkups from your doctor. (Read more about
habits you
can incorporate in your day to fight high blood pressure.)

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Feeling unusually tired is a sign of high
blood pressure.