Easy health-check: tests you can do on your own

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While it is definitely recommended that you visit your doc for an annual once-over (this includes a mammogram), it is possible to carry out certain easy health tests on your own to help you understand your body better – and if necessary, make those little lifestyle changes that make all the difference – for the better.

Image courtesy southerncross.co.nz

Here we go:

Check those nails

If they are yellowish, brown, or show black stripes under your nails it is an indication of cell damage or melanoma. If this is detected and treated early, it is possible to cure it. Those stripes are telling you to call a dermatologist right away.

By the way, if you’ve felt too exhausted lately, and noticed horizontal white lines on your nails it could be a sign that your kidneys are not efficiently filtering urine protein. Action: Get a urine test prescribed by your doc.

What are your armpits telling you?

Probably not your favorite fragrance – but check anyway. See a patch of  rough, dark skin? Could be an indicator of excess insulin in your blood. This makes your skin cells go forth and multiply causing a build up of melanin and tissue. Just ask your doc for a simple blood test to confirm.

Do your eyelids, knees and elbows have it? 

Check to see if you find small soft white waxy lumps – these are cholesterol deposits and a sign that your cholesterol levels are too high. You know cholesterol signals the possibility of heart disease.  But don’t panic yet. Just get a cholesterol check and your doc will tell you if you just need to include some healthy habits, along with short term prescription drugs to get it under control. You can also control cholesterol with food. 

Falling hair – yours?

Tough to ignore, I know. When you lose hair in droves, it could mean a thyroid problem. The thyroid, when upset, can in turn imbalance the male and female sex hormones. And you end up with think coarse, brittle hair that doesn’t know what to do except look lousy and fall off. Get a thyroid test – medication helps. Oh well, my thyroid is normal and I have falling hair. So there’s more to it than the thyroid.

Stick your tongue out 

Notice a white, yellow or orange layer? It may be acid reflux which is caused by the misbehavior of that valve between your stomach and esophagus. It opens spontaneously and your stomach contents rush into your throat (yuck!) coating your tongue with those acids.  Antacids help. Also, avoiding acidic and spicy foods helps.No relief? Talk to your doc.

Dark circles under the eyes

If those circles refuse to disappear even if you are sure you’re getting enough sleep, it could be an allergy. Allergies attack your body, which responds with histamine. Histamine makes blood vessels swell. And this gives you dark patches where your skin is the thinnest. You may need a skin test.

Stay healthy!

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Vidya Sury

After more than a decade in the corporate corporate work, I retired from my corporate career at 33 to focus on family. A change in priorities, and a passion for writing inspired me to start working from home and I am now living my dream as a writer and editor. I write content for clients, blog for businesses and edit manuscripts for publishers/authors. With six blogs of my own and published contributions across the web (The Huffington Post, PTPA, World of Moms, SheKnows), I writes to collect smiles and donate to charities. I shares stories about all the things I enjoy in life; parenting, mindful living, conversations, coffee, books, food, music, health, DIY, travel, photography and showing my diabetes who’s boss.

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