Hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol can have dire consequences.
Dire consequences are necessary but not sufficient to define a disease. A disease is something worse.
In the earliest stages: A natural, evolutionarily-selected, readily reversible, appropriate, measured, and normal response of the human body to poor stewardship is not and cannot possibly be labeled a “disease.” Especially while it is still readily reversible, as it is in the early stages. That defines a “medical condition,” not a disease. The readily reversible is something one reverses with aggressive lifestyle changes. One does not “manage” a medical condition, as doctors claim. One reverses it.
In these so-called diseases, the body has done nothing wrong, and is in fact acting appropriately, given its lamentable internal conditions, and it suffers as a consequence of our poor stewardship.
The level of tension, and the level of sugar, cholesterol, and many other substances in the blood are complex, normally well-balanced functions of competing push-pull mechanisms, that is, push-them-higher and pull-them-down mechanisms.
The balance of these forces has been selected by evolution to favor short-term survival, which is first and foremost, survival long enough to breed, and given that, survival through the reproductive years, allowing an individual and his mate to have more offspring for evolution to test.
This means that the pull-them-down mechanisms that lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and lower blood cholesterol have been selected to be more fragile than the push-them-higher mechanisms, those that promote higher values. Better put, the push mechanisms have been selected by evolutionary pressures to be more robust than the pull mechanisms.
Lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and lower blood cholesterol are considerably more dangerous than equal deviations the other way.
With proper stewardship of the body, the body can maintain these three levels, and no doubt others, in balance for its entire natural lifespan (roughly 78 years, somewhere between 65 and 91 years, which are 5-7 times [the factor values of primates and mammals, respectively, if my memory is correct], using an estimated natural human reproductive age of 13). Witness the KUNA Indians’ ~100 systole throughout their entire life, in their isolated culture, consuming their natural diet and living their natural lifestyle, despite excessive salt consumption similar to those of modern Americans).
However, given poor stewardship of the body’s needs, including not giving it what the body is trying to absorb (which includes cholesterol and non-essential fats; sorry vegans, you are also poor stewards of your own bodies, though at least you are trying), the body responds appropriately, and the pull-them-down mechanisms keeping blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and the like, in check, are more compromised, and sooner compromised, than the push mechanisms, selected to be more robust, that push them higher. This is exactly as it should be. If the reverse were true, we might among the extinct species.
Doctors worry about hypertension, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Wrong, wrong, wrong emphasis. And while doctors also worry about excessive blood clotting, failure to clot the blood is far more dangerous. What evolution came up with to favor blood clotting, with its amplification cascade mechanism, over failure to clot the blood and over the ability to resolve clots is positively amazing, and the entirely correct way to go. In general, look to doctors to find out what NOT to worry about. Nature has it right or we would not be here. And given poor stewardship of the body’s needs, look to the direction of the dysregulation to tell you what is more dangerous.