With the current lifestyle, not much attention is paid to the trivial signs our body shows if it is undergoing a problem. Most of us end up noticing a symptom only when it interferes with our daily activities.
For instance, if you suffer from a headache at school or in your workplace, you will probably pop a pill and let it pass for the day. If the headache gets severe and intolerable, only then will you visit the doctor and get it checked. It could be a problem with your vision or may be a condition more serious.
Mild signs that your body shows may help diagnose a health condition in the early stages if they are not overlooked. So, here are some tests you can try at home to know more about the status of your health.
1. The Taste Bud Test
The reason why you enjoy certain foods and dislike some is because of your taste buds. If your taste buds are damaged or function abnormally, then you’d have a difficult time differentiating tasty foods and not-so-tasty ones. Here is an easy test to know if your taste buds are on track.
The test: for this test you will need a few PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) paper strips. To do the test, place one strip on your tongue and close your mouth.
The result: If you are a supertaster, you will taste extreme bitterness in about a second. A medium taster may take 10–20 seconds to feel the bitterness while a nontaster may wonder what he or she should be tasting.
2. The Fluid Retention Test
Fluid retention in the body is seen as swellings because of water trapped in the area. This is most commonly seen in the ankles and feet.1 Fluid retention can be an indication of a serious health condition, so it is important not to overlook the symptoms.
The test: You can know if you have fluid retention in your body through a simple press test. Sit in a well-lit area and using your thumb, press down the flesh on your legs in 3 or 4 areas. Make sure to apply some pressure. Remove the thumb.
The result: With your forefinger, feel the areas where your thumb was placed. If you feel a small depression in those areas, it is a sign of fluid or water retention.
3. The Iron Level Test
The red blood cells require iron to transport enough oxygen to the different parts of the body. A drop in the iron levels can lead to anemia – a condition that reduces the number of healthy red blood cells blocking the oxygen supply to the cells and tissues.2
The test: Examine your nails, skin, and gums.
The result: Most often, if you have an iron deficiency, these areas appear pale or yellow in color. If you observe this, consult a doctor and confirm your iron levels with a blood test.
4. The Burp Test
This test is primarily for your digestive system. Your stomach has an acidic environment and this aids the digestion process. Too much or too little acid is not good for your health and may experience irritation and discomfort. Here is a simple test to keep a check on your stomach health.
The test: Stir a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and allow it to dissolve. Drink this water.
The result: If you burp right away, it is a good sign. This is because when an alkaline compound enters an acidic environment, it creates gas. Therefore, burping immediately is a sign that your stomach is acidic. However, if you do not burp or take too long to do so, it may be a sign of low acid levels.
5. The Vision Test
Anything as small as an eyelash can cause trouble to your eyes making it hard to see things around you normally. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on their health. If you have had an unexplained headache, you might want to do this test as soon as possible.
The test: Stand about 10 feet away from a car and try to read the license plate.
The result: If you can read all the numbers and alphabets without straining your eyes, you have nothing to worry about. But, if you find it difficult to read the plate, or even parts of it, without straining, then it is best to pay a visit to your nearest ophthalmologist for an eye exam.
6. The Lung Capacity Test
Irritants in the air like smoke, smog, and pollen can irritate your lungs. You may cough frequently or find it difficult to breathe, even with a simple physical activity like climbing a flight of stairs. If you are a smoker, you are a step closer to developing diseases of the lungs. Here’s a simple test to check your lung capacity.
The test: Light a candle and place it about 6 inches away from your mouth. Inhale deeply and trying blowing out the candle by exhaling quickly through your mouth without pursing your lips.
The result: If you blew out the candle in your first or second attempt, you have a good lung capacity. If you were not able to blow out the candle, it a sign of poor lung capacity and should get a clinical test done without delay.
7. The Food Sensitivity Test
Some foods may not suit certain people. For instance, if you are lactose intolerant, you may notice some reactions if you have had milk or any dairy product. Sometimes, it is not easy to find what food you are sensitive to. Here is a test to help you determine if you have a food allergy or not.
The test: Place two fingers on the upper right side of your neck and record your pulse rate in one minute. Make sure you are relaxed when you record the pulse. Now, take a piece of food and put it in your mouth. It is okay to chew the food, but don’t swallow it. Record your pulse rate with the food in your mouth.
The result: If you observe that your pulse rate rises by 6 or more points with the food, it indicates a stress reaction. It may be best to avoid this food to protect yourself from further allergic reactions.
8. The Spit Test
Your mouth is home to bacteria. If you don’t take care of your dental hygiene, there are a lot of issues that may arise. Oral thrush results when Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth and throat. Here’s how you can test for candida at home.
The test: When you wake up in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, work up some saliva and spit it into a glass of water. Wait for 1–3 minutes, look in the glass.
The result: If you observe that the saliva sinks in the glass and the water begins to turn cloudy, then you may have candida. Healthy saliva floats on water and does not sink down to the bottom.
Always remember that these are self-tests and cannot replace clinical procedures that are required to confirm a certain health condition. If you observe any unusual sign from your body, make sure you consult your doctor immediately.