- Tips and FAQs
High blood pressure
- Can high blood pressure (BP) be cured?
There is no cure for high BP,1 but lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, eating less salt (ie, sodium-containing foods), getting sufficient rest, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can help keep your BP under control.
However, if your high BP is caused by another health problem (ie, secondary high BP), getting rid of your high BP is possible if the underlying cause is treated successfully.1
- Are BP medications addictive or harmful to my body?
Blood pressure medications are not addictive. They help lower your BP and maintain it at a stable range as long as you continue the medications. Your BP will go back up if you stop taking them. Some medications, however, may cause side effects such as light–headedness or dizziness. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about the medications you are taking.2,3
- Can I stop my medications if my BP readings have returned to normal?
Once you start your treatment, it is likely that you will be taking your medications for the rest of your life, even if your BP is under control. This is to prevent your BP from rising again or becoming higher. Good control of BP is important to prevent its complications.4
- How often do I need to see my doctor?
It is advisable for you to see your doctor on a regular basis (at least once a month for poorly controlled high BP, or once in every 3–6 months for those whose BP is under control, ie, less than 140/90 mmHg).5
- Can I test my own cholesterol at home?
Yes, you can test your cholesterol at home using the home cholesterol tests; however, these tests only measure your total cholesterol. If you want to understand your risk for cardiovascular disease, you will still need to see your doctor for a full analysis of your cholesterol profile, which also includes high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.6
- What can I do to lower my cholesterol?
Adopting healthy habits, such as eating a healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, can help lower your cholesterol levels. You may also be prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs by your doctor for a better control of your cholesterol levels.7
- How does exercise affect my cholesterol levels in the blood?
Exercise that leads to significant weight loss can help lower your triglyceride levels and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.8
- Can diabetes be cured?
Similar to high blood pressure, there is no cure for diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), but lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking can help keep your diabetes under control.9
- How often should I test my blood glucose level?
The frequency of testing varies depending on the types of medications that you are taking and personal conditions. Some recommendations for self–monitoring of blood glucose are shown below10:
Ask your doctor to find out how often you should test your blood glucose.
- Can I take honey if I have diabetes?
A study found that consumption of natural honey may provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of people with diabetes, but it may also increase the level of average blood glucose concentration (glycated haemoglobin [HbA1c]). Therefore, it should be consumed cautiously.11
- Can I take artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners can be found in diet drinks, baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurts and chewing gums. Being a replacement of sugar which is known to be high in calorie and carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners have been known to reduce the intake of the same, and reduce your cravings for sweet foods.
However, you should remember that the sweetening power of artificial sweeteners is at least 100 times stronger than regular sugar. Hence, you should still limit its consumption.12
- Blood Pressure UK. Can I get rid of my high blood pressure? Available at http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/u40/Home/high/Willitgoaway. Accessed 8 October, 2019.
- US HealthWorks. Are blood pressure pills addicting? Available at https://ushealthworks.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/are-blood-pressure-pills-addicting/. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Cleveland Clinic. Hypertension: Frequently asked questions. Available at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_hypertension_high_blood_pressure/hic_hypertension_frequently_asked_questions. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Blood Pressure UK. I’ve been given blood pressure tablets. How long will I have to take them for? Available at http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/u40/home/treatments/howlongfor. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Cleveland Clinic. Hypertension: Treatment overview. Available at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_hypertension_high_blood_pressure/hic_hypertension_treatment_overview. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. Accurate or not? At-home cholesterol testing and blood pressure monitors. Available at http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/accurate-or-not-at-home-cholesterol-tests-blood-pressure-monitors. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- NHS choices. Lower your cholesterol. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthyhearts/pages/cholesterol.aspx. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. Exercises to control your cholesterol. Available at http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/exercises-to-control-your-cholesterol. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. Is there a diabetes cure. Available at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/is-there-a-diabetes-cure. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Ministry of Health Malaysia. Clinical practice guidelines: Management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (5th Edition); 2015.
- Bahrami M, et al. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2009;60:618–626.
- Cleveland Clinic. Are artificial sweeteners safe for people with diabetes? Available at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/06/are-artificial-sweeteners-safe-for-people-with-diabetes/. Accessed 19 September, 2019.