Its natural to worry about your health but many women still wont see their doctor until they are actually unwell. They think their GP will consider them time wasters. Not so. Most doctors are happy to give you a health check. But you can put your mind at ease by doing your five minute health MOT at home.
Here are DR Mark Atkinson tips for women to check themselves at home. Do these quick tests every few weeks to catch any health issues before they become more serious.
Challenge Your Brain
Keeping mentally fit is good for your brain health and may help prevent dementia. Test yourself by counting backwards from 100 in sevens, getting as low as you can without stopping. Getting down to 65 is a good score.
Monitor Your Bowels
Take note of your normal bowel habits. If you notice any change in your habits, more gas than usual, bleeding or blood in your stools, extra mucous. diarrhea that lasts more than six weeks, pain or a lump in the rectum or abdomen or weight loss, get it checked out. Changes in bowel habit can also be due to IBS or infections, but if you are concerned, visit your GP.
Check Your Breasts
Be breast aware by knowing what’s normal for your breasts at different times of month and be aware of what changes to look and feel for. Do a visual check in mirror, then a manual check for lumps using the flat of your hand. If you notice other changes, such as skin puckering or a rash. or you are at all concerned, see your GP.
Measure Your Waist
Excess fat around your stomach can quadruple your risk of diabetes and heart disease. You are high risk if your waist is over 35 inches or 40 inches for men. Using a soft tape measure, lift up your clothes, stand up straight and don’t suck in your tummy. Measure above the top of your hip bone and above your belly button, making sure the tape is even all the way round. If your waist is over 35 inches, up the exercise.
Check Your Nails
- Brittle nails that break easily could be due to an iron or vitamin B deficiency or an under active thyroid, which can cause dry skin and nails.
- A brown or black streak could be sign of trauma to the nail, or every rarely a skin cancer.
- Curled edges can be sign of anemia
- Yellow nails can be sign of lung disease or diabetes, while yellow spots can indicate a fungal infection or psoriasis.
- White spots are usually due to past trauma to the nail, but if you didn’t injure it and have recurring spots, it could be due to psoriasis or eczema, or you could be deficient in zinc.