I think that one of the challenges that I face with a primary younger readership is to help them understand that adopting a strong dietary pattern offers shorter-term relevance that goes well beyond just protecting you from heart disease forty years down the line.
Sexual health, in my estimation, is a topic that resonates more strongly with a slightly younger demographics.
Now as it relates to blood pressure, we know that it is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease.
We also know that excessive sodium consumption ,paired with inadequacies in other aspects of the diet, is a major dietary driver of the high blood pressure.
On top of that, we know that men tend to consume significantly more sodium than women do.
So where am I going with this?
Blood pressure has an undeniably relevant effect on sexual health in both men and women because, for more reasons than one, the health of one’s heart is directly tied to the health of one’s sex life.
I think that sexual health is a topic that is relevant across broad swaths of the population but perhaps even more a topic of intrigue in the slightly younger generations.
So here are the facts:
- Around 17.5% of Canadians aged 20-39 have high blood pressure
- High blood pressure medication is among the top 5 most frequently prescribed for men in the 25-44 demographic.
This is not some irrelevant issue.
So where does the sexual health part come into play?
High Blood Pressure & Sexual Health
So I’ve hopefully convinced you so far that blood pressure is not just an “older people” problem.
And now it’s time to demonstrate that it comes with more than just long-term health consequences.
Earlier this year the European Society Of Cardiology published an article entitled “How To Treat Your Blood Pressure Without Ruining Your Sex Life”
High blood pressure is a well known predictor of sexual dysfunction.
Nearly half of all men with hypertension ALSO have erectile dysfunction, and its not just men over 40 either.
According to a 2013 study out of the journal of sexual medicine, one in four patients seeking medical assistance for erectile dysfunction was under 40 years old.
On top of this, certain blood pressure medications may further increase a man’s risk of ED so be sure to speak to your doctor.
It’s Not Just A Male Problem
Although sodium intake and blood pressure prevalence may be higher in males, the negative sexual health consequences of high blood pressure affect both males and females.
Female sexual dysfunction is more common in women with hypertension than it is in women with normal blood pressure.
Because hypertension impacts blood flow to the sex organs it’s not unusual for it to have negative consequences both before and during intercourse (ie; libido, interest in having sex, enjoyment etc).
Increasing your potassium intake will help.
Lowering your sodium, covered in the piece below, will too.