It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of sticking to your routine health checkups with a physician. However, staying on top of your health goes beyond seeing your doctor once a year. Moreover, it’s you who notices the symptoms first, so performing a quick self-screening will allow you to help yourself once you feel that something is off.
You might think that as someone who isn’t medically trained, you won’t be able to tell when something is wrong. However, with innovations like sexual health tests, you can quickly check your health. Moreover, sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective.
In the article below, you will find the necessary information about several quick and easy health checks you can do at home, along with simple explanations on how to perform them. Some self-screening tests include taking your temperature, checking your pulse, and checking your skin and moles. Continue reading and learn how to do simple health checks at home.
Take Your Temperature
This is the first thing you should do when you feel unwell. A fever is one of the most common symptoms of various illnesses, so it makes sense to check your temperature when you start feeling sick. Oral and rectal readings are usually the most accurate, but you can also take an armpit reading if that’s more comfortable for you.
To take your temperature orally, put the tip of the thermometer under your tongue and close your mouth. Make sure you don’t bite the thermometer and wait until you hear a beep. This will indicate that the reading is done, and you can remove the thermometer.
If you’re taking your temperature rectally, apply some petroleum jelly to the tip of the thermometer, insert it about an inch into your rectum, and wait until you hear a beep to remove it.
Check Your Pulse
Checking your pulse is a good way to monitor your heart health. You can do it anywhere on your body where an artery is close to the skin, such as your wrist, neck, or the inside of your elbow. To check your pulse, place two fingers on the chosen spot and press lightly. You shouldn’t use your thumb because it has its own pulse.
Once you find your pulse, count the number of beats for 60 seconds or count for 30 seconds and multiply by two. A regular resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. If it’s consistently above 100, see your doctor immediately because this may be a sign of tachycardia.
Perform a Breast Self-Exam
Women should examine their breasts at least once a month to detect any developing or lumpy changes. Check for visible modifications in size, form, or texture while looking in the mirror with your arms at your sides. Then, raise your arms overhead and inspect them again.
Use your right hand to feel your left breast while lying down. Use circular motions with the pads of your fingertips, starting at your nipple and working outward in ever-larger circles. Repeat this procedure on your right breast. Make sure to check all parts of your breasts.
Measure Your Waist
Carrying excess weight around your waist is linked to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Waist circumference is a good measure of abdominal fat and can help determine whether you carry excess weight around your middle.
To measure your waist, wrap a tape measure around your waist so that it’s level with your belly button. Breathe out naturally before taking the measurement. A waist circumference of more than 35 inches (88 centimeters) in women or 40 inches (102 centimeters) in men indicates abdominal obesity. However, remember that the recommended waist circumference varies depending on ethnicity. For people of Asian descent, the cut-off values are lower than those for people of European ancestry.
Check Your Skin and Moles
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, so performing regular skin checks is essential for early detection.
To check your skin, use a full-length mirror and a hand mirror to examine all areas of your body, including the soles of your feet, between your toes, and under your nails. Look for anything that looks new or different from the rest of your skin, such as new moles, changes in existing moles, sores that won’t heal, or anything else that looks abnormal. If you notice anything suspicious, make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible.
You should also perform regular checks of your moles at home using the ABCDE rule:
- A stands for asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half.
- B stands for border: The mole has an irregular, scalloped, or notched border.
- C stands for color: The mole has changed color or has more than one color.
- D stands for diameter: The mole is larger than about ¼ inch (6 millimeters).
- E stands for evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, color, or thickness over time.
Staying on top of your health is essential for maintaining your well-being. However, it’s not always possible or convenient to see a doctor, so performing regular self-screenings at home is a good way to catch any potential health problems early. Some of the most important self-screenings include taking your temperature, checking your pulse, performing a breast self-exam, measuring your waist, and checking your skin and moles.