Your Body Holds Important Clues to Your State of Health
Your body is like a billboard for your state of health. By knowing the telltale clues, you can tell whether it’s time to see the doctor for followup.
Your body is like a billboard for your state of health. By knowing the telltale clues, you can tell much about what’s going on — and whether it’s time to see the doctor for further followup. Listen closely: Is your body trying to tell you something?
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For clues about problems in your mouth, all you have to do is stick out your tongue and look in the mirror. A healthy tongue should be pink and covered with small nodules. But if you see any deviation from your tongue’s normal appearance, or any pain, it may be cause for concern. These changes might need to be evaluated by a doctor or dentist. What to look for when you brush your teeth.
The body’s natural coolant, sweat is purer than most drinking water. But sweating can be associated with disease. And when sweat meets bacteria, the result is not always gentle on the nose. Why do some varieties of sweat smell worse than others? Know which medical conditions — from menopause to hyperhidrosis — can make you sweat, and when sweat can signal a serious medical condition that needs prompt attention. Find out why sweat smells turn foul.
Human urine has been a useful tool for doctors to diagnose their patients’ medical problems since the earliest days of medicine. Urine’s color, density, and odor can reveal much about the state of our health. Your urine’s color also can be influenced by substances you ingest, such as medicine. But your urine also can contain substances, such as blood, that are not visible. Read about the clues to illness in your urine.
How your bladder functions every day can tell you a lot about your overall health. How often you urinate during the day and during the night, the color of your urine and whether you can “hold it” all provide clues to health conditions that don’t involve your urinary system. So what should you look out for? Any problem that is a departure from your usual habits. Find out the three major trouble signs.
Did you know your doctor can check for signs of peripheral artery disease (PAD) with a simple test of the pulses in your feet? PAD and coronary artery disease (CAD) are associated with atherosclerosis – a buildup of cholesterol in the body’s arteries. Sometimes the presence of PAD might mean an increased risk for heart disease, so screening with this easy, non-invasive test could help save your life. Find out why this simple test is so important.
If you want some clues about your overall health, look down at your fingernails. Many things can occur in the nails that can signify systemic or skin problems. So be on the lookout for anything on or around your fingernails or toenails that suddenly appears different. Anything that doesn’t look normal ought to be addressed by your physician. You can take care of your nails by staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet. Learn about six conditions that can also cause symptoms in your nails.
It sounds like an urban legend: The length of a man’s ring finger may indicate his lifetime risk of prostate cancer. The idea started with years of simple observation, but it has picked up credibility in the past few years as researchers backed it with data. It is worth paying attention to this clue, especially if you have other risk factors. And know that much research remains to be done. Find out what the research says.
The old saying goes that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but they can also be a window into your health. Ophthalmologists often see clues in the eyes that warn of health issues elsewhere in your body. Eye exams are important not only for the health of the eye, but also to determine if there are systemic issues that need attention. Find out the health warning signs ophthalmologists can find in your eyes