Want to live a longer, healthier life? Here's a list of do-it-yourself home health checks that could save your life. They only take seconds to do. We got them from Reader’s Digest:
- The first do-it-yourself health check is for asthma. Research shows that one in 10 people may have undiagnosed asthma, and untreated asthma kills more than 5,000 North Americans every year. So, try the “wheeze check.” It's two questions that can identify 90% of people with asthma. Question #1: “Do you wheeze sometimes?” “Do you experience shortness of breath when you exercise or exert yourself?” If you answered “yes” to either question, ask your doctor to test you for asthma.
- The next test is for iron deficiency. Too little iron can cause concentration problems, bone-weary fatigue, even shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. The test: Are the creases in your palms pale? Regardless of your natural skin color, unusual paleness in your palm creases means reduced circulation. So, talk to your doctor about getting tested for low iron.
- Another do-it-yourself test can prevent strokes. Off-rhythm heartbeats and palpitations cause 20% of strokes – because they cause blood clots in the heart that can travel to the brain, and 70% of strokes are fatal. The test: Find your pulse by placing a finger on your neck or wrist, and for one minute, tap your foot in time with your pulse. If the beat is so irregular that you can’t tap along, relax for an hour – and check again. If your pulse is still extremely uneven, see your doctor.
- One final do-it-yourself home test is for depression. According to a review of 41 studies involving 50,000 people, doctors miss the signs of depression half of the time, and 70% of people with depression get no treatment for their condition. Two quick questions can catch 97% of those suffering from depression. “Do you often feel down, depressed or hopeless?” “In the past month, have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things?” If you answered “yes” to either question, talk to your doctor.