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The Infamous 3 Highs That Are The Root Causes Of Many Illnesses

12 Oct 2021
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Have you heard of The 3 Highs? Even if you may not be familiar with the term, you will no doubt have heard of the infamous trio of diseases it refers to: high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

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High blood sugar

This condition causes diabetes, a metabolic disorder that occurs when your body is resistant to or doesn’t produce enough insulin, the hormone made in your pancreas which regulates your body’s glucose (sugar) levels by enabling cells to absorb them for energy. 

Consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to complications such as kidney disease, heart disease, diabetic foot ulcers, nerve complications and blindness. Common symptoms include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination and sudden unexplained weight loss. Some people may not have any symptoms at all, which is why diabetes is also known as a “silent killer”.

Age, genetics, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the risk factors associated with diabetes. Women who had gestational diabetes while pregnant are also potentially at risk of developing lifelong diabetes later on.  

Malaysia has the highest number of people living with diabetes in Asia. But despite this, many Malaysians do not fully understand this disease

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High blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when your blood pressure (the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels) is consistently too high. 

Like diabetes, hypertension is often referred to as a “silent killer” because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms - you can actually have hypertension for years and not know it, unless you go for regular health checks. 

Hypertension symptoms only appear once the condition becomes severe. These include vision problems, severe headaches, nausea, nosebleed, dizziness and trouble sleeping. If left unchecked, hypertension can lead to heart disease, heart failure and stroke, among other serious health conditions.  

The risk of hypertension gets higher with age, due to increased hardening of blood vessels as part of natural ageing. Other common risk factors include obesity, diabetes and genetics.

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High cholesterol

Cholesterol often has negative connotations attached to it. But it’s important to note that this is an essential substance our body needs to build healthy cells. 

However, too much of anything is never good. At excessive levels, cholesterol will result in clogged arteries, which increases your risk for a heart attack and other heart-related diseases.  

Like diabetes and hypertension, high cholesterol is considered as another “silent killer” as it generally has no symptoms in the early stages. The only way to know if your cholesterol levels are normal is to do a blood test and consult your doctor.  

The most common risk factors for high cholesterol include genetics, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet.

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Are these conditions preventable?  

The good news is, with healthy lifestyle habits, The 3 Highs are mostly preventable. 

Get regular exercise, eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, cut down on alcohol, stop smoking, be mindful of stress levels, and get enough good quality sleep. Easier said than done, so it’s important to practice them as habits.

In addition, regular health screenings are crucial for early detection of any potential abnormalities. This ensures you get the right treatment as soon as possible, and have better control over your health.   

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What happens if I’m diagnosed with one or more of these conditions? 
The 3 Highs are lifelong medical conditions. While they are generally irreversible, they can still be managed. 

If you have been diagnosed with one or more of The 3 Highs, you can still live a long, fulfilling life, as long as you follow your doctor’s prescribed medical precautions and make changes to your lifestyle. 

It’s also important to note that long-term medical tests and treatments related to The 3 Highs can potentially have a significant impact on your finances. 

The good news is, there is now an insurance plan that provides coverage for 3 High care. Gibraltar BSN’s GoProtect Platinum will pay a lump sum to support the cost of your recuperation upon diagnosis of any of the 3 Highs.

Check it out here.