Question: I have borderline-high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood sugar, but am not diabetic. Could all three be caused by the same thing, and do I need to worry?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Yes, all these conditions can be caused by any one or multiple conditions, including poor dietary habits and untreated medical disorders such as diabetes, Syndrome X, or obesity, some of which may be genetically based.
It is probably best for you to address each of these issues because they are all major risk factors for premature heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss. Work with your personal physician to treat them to avoid irreversible complications. See your doctor (the sooner the better) to set up plan of attack appropriate for your age and medical conditions.
You should also pay more attention to your diet. You should go with a high-soluble-fiber diet, with no added salt diet, and avoid overly refined foods and sugars as much as possible. Make sure to maintain a healthy weight; your body mass index should be 20 or less (over 25 is too high). If you need to lose a few pounds, aim to get an hour or more of sensible aerobic exercise at least three days a week. Try eating smaller meals more frequently and do not miss breakfast, to improve your glucose profile, and cut out between-meal snacking, especially fried foods and soft drinks, which can make a bigger difference than many of us realize.
You should also pay attention to the nutrition labels on the foods you eat and realize that 2 grams of sodium daily and 2,000 calories a day are reasonable limits for many adults. Aim to get at least 30 grams of fiber daily, which can improve your colon health and your cholesterol profile at the same time.
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