Hello! I am a 31 year old man and exercise 5 days a week for an hour each day. I consider myself to be pretty physically fit, however I recently have been a little concerned about my blood pressure. For the past year or two, I've noticed each time I go to the doctor, my pressure averages about 140/90. I have a sphygmo at home and my wife has been taking my blood pressure every other day or so (when I'm at rest) and it's been averaging 140/90 - 130/90 each time.
I realize this isn't alarmingly high, however I've been told that 140/90 is considered pre-hypertension. Is this something I should have addressed by my doctor or do you think they'll blow it off since I'm young and in otherwise good health?
As you know your pressure isn't terrible. And as you are young I think you would be better off losing weight. You say you are physically fit, but how's your weight. In younger people, losing weight can have a big impact on BP, in everyone really, but younger people have fewer old people issues added into the mix.
Your diet is also important, you know, low fat, fruits, veg., not too much fried, you know the drill.
So if you have any excess pounds or are eating too much junk, I'd certainly try altering those things before getting on drugs.
Just my opinion, as doctors throw pills at us immediately, when life style changes may have equal effect and be better for your body.
Thank you for the reply! I've actually been very cautious about my weight for many years now and I'm actually on the skinny side -- well, that's what my wife says. I weigh around 160 and am 5'8". I've been lighter before but was skin and bones at that time, so I don't think that would be a good idea. I do think my diet could stand to be a bit better, though.
You're young and in good shape to have the numbers you have as they should be lower...do keep monitoring for any changes...and make sure you and your wife are following the instructions in your monitor book. Too many people get inaccurate readings (and freak out as a result) because of it.
Diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and other drugs all play a role in regulating blood pressure. Another factor is sleep....people who don't get enough sleep (research now suggests for whatever the reason) are at risk for hypertension and other conditions. Sleep disorders, like sleep apnea can also send your pressures soaring. You might want to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea to see if that might be a possibility because treatment for people with these conditions can drop pressures without medications for many people.
Your pressure isn't alarming but it's high enough at your age that you should continue looking for a solution. Look at all the possibilities: alcohol, prescription drugs (there are a lot of drugs that can raise blood pressure including ibuprofen), poor sleep, stress...
Diet is a big category. You probably have a good basic diet but how about salt? You don't need to be afraid of salt but high amounts of it can cause problems.
What kind of exercise are you doing? If it's too focused on anaerobic (weight-lifting, strength exercises) that can raise blood pressure. Do more aerobic exercise if that's the case.
How about breathing? This was my problem. Some of us tend to breathe too fast and when under stress we even hold our breath. This raises blood pressure. The solution is practicing slow breathing for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
If you can't find an explanation and your pressure stays the same you should get it investigated. Like I said, it's not dangerous at this point but it's not right either.
I just wanted to thank everyone for their input. You've helped to confirm that most likely, something isn't right.
To answer some of your questions, I don't smoke and I have on average 1-2 drinks 4-5 days per week. I don't typically add salt to my food, but realize that certain foods I eat are already very high in sodium. I don't lift weights at all. My daily exercise consists of 1 hour on my elliptical trainer. Someone mentioned stress -- I do tend to get high-strung about work and although my home life is great, overall, I do have a 15 month old who makes me want to pull my hair out on occasion. As for sleep, average 8-9 hours per night, so I don't think that is the problem.
Thank you again! We'll continue to keep an eye on it and I'll chat with my doctor as well (although at this stage, I'm very resistant to going on any meds).