Not only are your eyes the window to your soul, but they are also a window into your health. Your eyes can provide a variety of clues to possible health problems. For example, if you see a white ring around the cornea, it may be a condition known as arcus senilis, which means nothing if you are over the age of 30, but for those who under 30, the whitish ring may be a sign that you have a high level of cholesterol. If your eyes are bloodshot and it’s not from having too much fun the night before, it may be a sign that you taking too much aspirin, which slows down clotting and thins your blood, resulting in flooding of the small vessels in your eyes.
While looking in flat, white light, what do you see? If your skin and/or your eyes have a yellowish tint, it may be a symptom of hepatitis, jaundice or liver disease. One of the problems with your liver is that the symptoms of liver damage often do not appear until the damage is in an advanced stage. So, if you notice yellowing of the skin and there is no known reason for it, you should visit your physician as soon as possible.
One of the most common things to look for on your skin that may be an indication of health problems is a mole. If you have a mole that has suddenly developed, changed in shape, size or color, it is important to have it checked by a medical professional. One of the symptoms of skin cancer is a change in moles, so it is essential that you routinely examine all moles you may have. When looking at a mole it should be round and fairly small, if it is asymmetry, which means anything that is not perfectly round, such as the border has an irregular shape or the hue changes across the mole and/or if the mole is larger than a pencil eraser, it may be cause to contact a dermatologist. It is also important to carefully examine your skin itself. If you notice that you are suddenly paler than what you typically are, it may be an indication of anemia, which is a reduction in your red blood cells. Anemia can cause extreme fatigue and may lead to other health complications. You can try to increase the red blood cells by eating foods that are rich in iron, such as red meats, but if the problem doesn’t correct itself after a few days, you should schedule an appointment with your physician.
You may glance at your feet while putting your shoes on or taking them off, but how often do you really examine your feet? There are several things to look for that may indicate an underlying health problem. For example, if you have dry skin, it may be a symptom of a fungal infection, an allergic reaction, eczema or dermatitis. When your feet do not produce enough oil, they are unable to fight the fungus that causes athletes foot. Athletes foot can also cause your feet to crack, which can lead to a whole host of infections. Your feet play an important role in your activities, so it is important to give them the attention they deserve by only wearing socks and footwear made from natural materials and routinely using moisturizer.
Did you know your lips could be giving you clues that you’re exhausted? If your skin is scaly, you are suffering with frequent headaches and your lips are cracked, you may be dehydrated. If you are constantly craving something to drink and have dry, cracked lips, you may be in a level of dehydration that is causing exhaustion. Water has a significant effect on the systems within your body, so it impossible to maintain healthy energy levels if you aren’t drinking enough water. It is important to drink water to the point where your urine is completely clear. Not only is water critical for keeping your energy levels up, but if you become severely dehydrated it can have a significant impact on the health of your organs, especially the kidneys.
Your fingernails are often a good indicator of potential anomalies in your body. If you see small hemorrhages (small blood clots) under your nails that look similar to a wood splinter, it may be an indication of endocarditis, which is an infection in one of the heart valves. Other nail abnormalities, such as white spots or deep horizontal ridges can be an indication of a mineral deficiency, an underlying disease and/or circulatory problems. Most people have vertical lines on their fingernails and as you age, the grooves get deeper, but if the lines or the nail surrounding the line has a yellowish tint, it might be a symptom of a fungal infection. If you have horizontal pairs of white lines, it may be lines, which often indicate kidney disease, malnutrition and/or liver disease. If you work around chemicals or suspect arsenic consumption and there lines that travel along the nail bed as your nail plate grows, it may be an indicator of arsenic poisoning. It is important to routinely check your fingernails for any changes in color, shape or depth of lines on the nail bed.
Maintaining your health, means eating healthy, well-balanced meals, drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you notice changes on any part of your body, it is important to visit your physician as soon as possible. In many situations, appropriate treatment for a health problem depends on catching the symptoms early on, so never be embarrassed or concerned about contacting your doctor regarding even the smallest changes in your body.