Are you healthy? DIY test

Are you healthy? DIY test
Are you healthy DIY test

Regardless of what age you are, but especially when you turn 50, having regular health checks is vitally important if you wish to live to a healthy and happy old age. Anyone with a family history of certain diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes should be particularly aware. There may be a variety of reasons why you choose not to bother your doctor, and while ideally regular health checks should be undertaken by a health professional, there are certain things you can check for in the privacy of your own home. Here are our suggestions for a DIY health check test.

Shortness of breath

Are you able to climb two flights of stairs without becoming unduly short of breath? Do you have any chest pains when you climb stairs? If you do, see your doctor. There may be an underlying cause – something as simple as anaemia, but there may be an issue with heart or lung disease.

BMI

Measure your weight, using bathroom scales, and your height, then check the results against a BMI (body mass index) calculator online. A BMI of 20 to 25 is considered normal. Anything less than 20 is underweight, and more than 25-30 overweight. If you are more than 30, you are considered obese.

You can also measure the girth of your tummy at the navel - it should be less than 37 inches.

Blood pressure

You can buy blood pressure monitors online or from a chemist, or you can sometimes borrow them from your local medical centre. At rest, measure your blood pressure and pulse. Your BP should be around 130/80, with a pulse rate of between 60 and 100. Take readings over the course of a week. If your BP is persistently more than 140/90, then you probably have high blood pressure. A pulse rate of less than 60/min may be considered normal or it can indicate an underactive thyroid. A pulse rate over 100 per min will need further investigation.

You can also check your pulse by placing your index and middle fingers on the underside of your opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Count the beats for one minute.

Invest in a test

You can buy test kits for blood sugar, cholesterol, urine, and blood in your stools etc., from many high street chemists. A blood sugar of over 7 may indicate diabetes. A cholesterol of over 6 would be considered high. Your urine test should be negative for albumin, glucose and blood. If any of these are positive, then you should see your doctor.

Check your eye sight

You should be able to read books (near vision), and read car number plates (distant vision), if necessary with glasses. If there is any blurring, see your optician for a test.

Hear hear

You should be able to hear a ticking watch held near your ears.

Breast exam

Women of any age should check their breasts on a regular basis so that they quickly recognise when something is abnormal for them as individuals. Firstly, stand and look at your breasts in a mirror. Are there any changes, such as dimpling, redness, or scaling of the skin or nipples? Take a note of the usual differences between your breasts.

Secondly, lie down and raise your right arm above your head. Use the three middle fingers of your left hand to feel all over your right breast, beginning at the armpit. Repeat with your other breast. Report any lumps or anything unusual to your doctor as soon as possible.

Check for moles

If you notice any moles, freckles, blemishes or spots that seem to be changing, growing, or bleeding, then see your doctor. Most types of skin cancer are treatable when caught early. Any sores that fail to heal within three weeks also warrant further investigation.

Say Ah!

Oral cancer is on the increase. A simple check means opening your mouth and looking for persistent white patches, or sore red areas on the tongue, especially any sore areas that don’t heal in a few weeks. Bleeding and inflamed gums can be an early warning of gum disease or gingivitis, which if left untreated, can cause mouth abscesses and destroy the fibres that secure the teeth to the gums. Frequent mouth ulcers and bleeding gums may be a symptom of diabetes, anaemia or vitamin C deficiency.

Bowels

Check for any changes in bowel habits. You should have at least one per day. If you go two or three days without a bowel movement, consider whether you’re eating enough fibre. See your doctor if constipation or diarrhoea continue for more than two weeks. If there is any sign of blood (although this can be due to piles), talk to your doctor, especially if you see a black tarry substance in your stools.

Urine

Check the colour of your urine. You’re ideally hoping to see a light yellow liquid. Darker coloured liquid means you’re not drinking enough and this can result in kidney disease and skin problems. As we get older, we tend to feel less thirsty but we still need fluid. Aim for at least eight small glasses of fluid every day.

Hair loss

We all lose a certain amount of hair everyday (usually around 50 to 100 strands) but if yours is falling out faster than this, this can be caused by low iron or protein levels.

Nail it

A final recommended DIY check is your fingernails. Do they crack or chip easily, or look yellow and cloudy? This may mean you have nutrient or mineral deficiencies. As we get older we need to eat plenty of healthy fats – things like avocados and olive oil.

Remember - If you have any concerns at all, please make an appointment to see your doctor at the earliest opportunity.

Share
Marie Pure

Other articles


Should you worry Four questions.

Should you worry? Four questions

Should you worry? Four questions to ask yourself if you’re constantly worrying about the future. Worrying is a negative cycle. Stop worrying today.

Read the complete article

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school?

What can you do if your kid doesn't want to go back to school? Here are our hints and tips to help if your child is expressing a refusal to go to school.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

Do you allow others to influence your life (too much) Find out

Do you allow others to influence your life (too much)? Find out!

Don’t let other people influence your life too much! Find out now, how much you care about the opinions of others and how they influence your life.

Read the complete article

Qué hacer cuando uno se siente perdido en la vida

What to do when feeling lost in life?

What to do when feeling lost in life? Read some tips about what to do when feeling lost in life or when you don't know what to do with your life here!

Read the complete article

is it wrong to feel happy

Is it wrong to feel unhappy?

Is it a serious problem if you feel unhappy? In order to have light, there should be darkness. Read this article to know more about feeling unhappy!

Read the complete article

Is loneliness a disease?

Is loneliness a disease?

Is loneliness a disease? Loneliness has been recognised as a precursor and cause of poor physical and mental health and has even been described as a ‘hidden killer’ especially among older people. Loneliness is a complex human emotion, unique for every person. Do you recognise this issue? Read on.

Read the complete article

What to eliminate from your life to  be happier

What to eliminate from your life to be happier

Do you have a nagging suspicion that you could only be happier if X was true, or you could do Y? What should you change about your life in order to be happier?

Read the complete article

Coping with life transitions

Struggling to cope with life transitions?

Are you struggling to cope with transitions in life? Read our article on signs and tips for coping with life transitions. 

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research