Most of us believe that the secret to a happy life is a healthy one, but between leading hectic lifestyles, lack of sleep and stress it’s all too easy to get run down and lower your immune system. Even though nothing can substitute seeing a doctor, a quick health check at home can help you spot the early signs of dehydration, anaemia, hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies. It’s important to be aware of your own body so you can spot any changes quickly and although health starts on the inside, your nails, skin, eyes and mouth can reveal a lot about your wellbeing. Here are some tips for giving yourself a five minute DIY health check in the comfort of your own home, courtesy of Medibank.
Skin: Your skin is the largest organ of the body and is a great indicator of what might be going on beneath the surface. Dull and lifeless skin can be a sign of dehydration, so keep glugging down those eight glasses of water a day! Breakouts could suggest you need to work on your digestive health or you may just need to de-stress. Plenty of rest and fresh, nutritional food should have you well on the way to being spot free. You should also be aware of any unusual moles, freckles or bruises that don’t go away and seek medical attention, especially if you’re
a sun worshipper.
Eyes: Eyes are the windows to the soul, and often the reflectors of health, too. If your lower eyelid is pale when pulled down you may be anaemic whilst if it’s red and\ lumpy this could mean you have allergies. Discolouration of the white areas can be caused by sun and wind exposure but it’s always worth getting your eyes checked just to be sure.
Lips: Dry and scaly lips, especially in the corners of your mouth, can be the first sign of iron deficiency or autoimmune disease. If your lips are always dry, you may need to work on your nutrition but it could also be worth investing in a good lip balm with SPF protection.
Nails: Nails aren’t just good for a French manicure, they are one of the best ways of knowing if you’re in tip top condition. Pale or brittle nails often suggest iron deficiency whilst pitting or ripped nails are found in people with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Tongue: A white coated tongue can be a sign of dehydration or acid reflux which can be aggravated by a build-up of bacteria on the surface of the tongue. In most cases, this condition is harmless and temporary and is most likely to be a sign of lack of water, but if this is a recurring problem, seek your GP’s opinion. Drink plenty of water after first noticing a white tongue and minimise any foods that may cause an upset stomach.
Remember that a visit to a medical professional is the best way to put your mind at ease however DIY health checks are a great way for you to understand what your body wants and needs.