21 Simple Tests to Evaluate Your Health That You Can Do Now


Close one eye, and take three to five steps back from your monitor. Take a look at the circle above. Determine whether some of the lines appear darker than others. If the answer is yes, then it’s worth visiting an optician because it’s likely you’ve developed astigmatism.

If you don’t see a number on this picture it may be a sign of myopia, and you should consider visiting an optician.

How to Do a Self Breast Exam

Giving yourself regular self breast exams can help you detect changes in your breasts so you can report them to your doctor ASAP. Do you know how to perform this important women’s health check?

First, stand with your upper body unclothed and look at your breasts in a mirror. Look for changes like dimpling, redness, or scaliness of the skin or nipples, and note any differences between the two breasts.

Next, lie down (this is a change from previous recommendations to do this exam standing in the shower). Raise your right arm above your head. Use the three middle fingers of your left hand to feel all over your right breast, beginning at the armpit. Repeat with your other breast.

Stroke and dementia

You need a timer for this test. Lift your leg up so that the hip is parallel to the floor and start the timer. If you can stand like this for 20 or more minutes, it means you have minimal risk of having a stroke or developing dementia. And vice versa: if you have trouble maintaining balance on one leg, it might indicate problems with vessels of the brain.

How to Take the Home HIV Test

Concern over the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is nothing to ignore: HIV can cause AIDS. There’s only one home HIV test that is approved by the U.S. government, and it’s called “The Home Access HIV-1 Test System” or “The Home Access Express HIV-1 Test System.” This HIV test is available at pharmacies, by mail order, and online.

Here’s how the home HIV test works:

  • Using a personal identification number (PIN), you anonymously mail a blood sample you collect yourself to a lab for professional testing.
  • Use the PIN to get your results.
  • Bonus: The system also provides confidential counseling.

Heart and lung disease

Make your fingers in the shape of an upside down letter J and put your nails against one another. Do you see a tiny diamond between them? Great, this means that your heart and vessels are perfectly healthy.

If there is no space between your fingernails, it may be a sign of nail clubbing. The fact that fingers become thicker means that the blood doesn’t have enough oxygen. Oxygen deficiency can be caused by multiple reasons. For example, cardiovascular diseases, lung problems, and gastrointestinal issues.

How to Check Your Heart Rate

Heart disease is a serious women’s health condition (it’s the No. 1 killer of women in the United States). Fortunately, checking your own heart rate (pulse) can help uncover problems with your ticker.

To find your pulse, place your index and middle fingers on the underside of your opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Count your heartbeats for one minute. A resting pulse for adults should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If it’s consistently higher or lower, or if you detect an irregular heartbeat, call your doctor.

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