How To Perform A DIY Health Check

How To Perform A DIY Health Check

Flickr Photo Credit: Victor

Whatever the concern the facts are you know your own body better than any doctor, yes they may have the expert knowledge but you’ll know yourself when something isn’t quite right. Once a month try to find the time to give yourself a quick health check, noting down any changes or odd symptoms you’ve experienced recently. Pick a time when you know you won’t be disturbed, first thing in the morning or last thing at night’s best, and pop to the bathroom as you’ll need access to mirror for a couple of these.

Mouth

Our mouths actually contain a large amount of bacteria and a bite from a human being can leave you fighting a nasty staph infection. Brush your teeth regularly, morning and evening, as well as using mouthwash and dental floss to reduce the chance of cavities, plaque and gum infections. Don’t ignore your tongue while cleaning your teeth and brush it gently with your brush to remove any food particles, your tongue should be red, not dotted with white patches or seem furry which could be a sign of oral thrush. Bleeding inflamed gums can be an early sign of pregnancy but more likely it signals that you have the beginnings of gingivitis.

Eyes

Your eyes should be clean, clear and bright with no bags, or shadows under them as this can indicate you aren’t getting enough sleep. If your eyes have felt heavy, gritty or red it may be worth having a few lie ins over the next few days. Experiencing headaches more than usual? It could be that you’re straining your eyes from looking at various screens throughout the day, if your vision seems blurry or you need to blink a lot you might want to book an appointment with an optician. Any pain, redness, yellow crusting or fluid leaking from the eyes needs to be looked at by a doctor asap as it could be a symptom of an eye infection or conjunctivitis.

Skin

Look for any changes or discolouration in the skin which could signal that something’s up and keep on any moles or skin tags you may have. Sadly, skin cancer is on the rise thanks to

sun-bed usage, deliberate avoidance of sun cream and even going outside without a hat on in hot weather. By regularly looking at your skin you’ll be aware of any new marks or moles which could be an early sign of a melanoma. Speak to your doctor straight away or visit scmedcenter.org if you’ve noticed a darkening of the skin, bleeding or itching moles or open wounds that fail to heal after about three weeks.  

Bowels

It sounds unpleasant but every once in awhile have a look at your stools as blood in them can be a sign something is very wrong. Long bouts of constipation or diarrhoea aren’t normal either and need to be discussed with your doctor. How regular you are will depend on age, diet and your own digestive system as some of us need to go more than others but it’s safe to say anything longer than four days needs investigation.  

DIY Health Check shake doctor hand
Medical office – middle-aged male doctor greeting patient, shaking hands.

 

Flickr Photo Credit: Vic

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