Real Men Wear Gowns: How you can get your high blood pressure down

Getting your blood pressure checked is key to making sure it's under control and for you to start feeling healthier.

In all, 75 million Americans have high blood pressure, but only half of them have it under control.

"I have actually known about my blood pressure running high, and I kind of hid it under the table and didn't really think much about it," said 34-year-old James Robbins who was diagnosed with high blood pressure half a year ago.

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Smoking played a big role.

"Smoked since I was in high school, about a pack a day, about 15 times tried to quit," he said.

But he finally put the lighter away for good.

"Four or five months ago is the last time I had a cigarette," he noted. "I do still have cravings here and there but it's not worth it. I don't want to smoke anymore."

"He's doing great. He's lost weight, he stopped smoking, and his blood pressure readings are back to normal," said Dr. Suhaib Haq, the medical director for the Robert L.M. Hilliard Center at University Health System.

Dr. Haq said that one of the reasons Robbins had to make those changes was family history.

"I was worried about it because, in my family runs diabetes and high blood pressure as well, so I tried to sweep it under the rug," Robbins added.

Now that his blood pressure is under control, he says his overall health has improved as well.

"I have more energy. I feel a bit more lively," Robbins said.

He urges all men who may have high blood pressure to get it checked out.

"Toughen up and go to the doctor," Robbins recommended. "It's really a game changer and you will feel a lot better. You would be surprised how well you feel."

For more men's health information, call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories at