These at-home, do-it-yourself exams can often reveal more about your health than high-tech diagnostics.
Nails that are white near the cuticle and red or brown near the tip can indicate kidney disease. Fingertips that are blue or clubbed can b a symptom of lung disease. This would likely be accompanied by other symptoms such as breathing impairment. These signs also can occur in toenails.
Put your hands together in a prayer position with the palms and all fingers pressed flat against each other. If you can't do that, or the pinky fingers wont lay flat, it may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Sit or stand and hold one arm straight out in front, index finger pointing forward. Close your eyes and touch your nose with your index finger. Then do the same with the other arm. Try it a few times, when you're rested and alert and have not been drinking. If you keep missing, it may be a sign of a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or Huntington's disease.
For people who are middle-aged or older, this is a quick way to test the flexibility of arteries, which is important for heart health. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front, toes pointing up. Bend form the hips and try to touch your toes. If you can't get anywhere near your toes, you may be at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, or deep vein thrombosis.
Shaky Hand Test
A thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroididm) can make you feel anxious-even panicky- and cause unexplained weight loss. This is a quick way to check: Stretch one hand out in front, palm down. Put a sheet of paper on the back of your hand and see if it shakes. Some movement is normal, but if it's pronounced, or the paper falls off, it could mean your thyroid is working overtime, especially if you have other symptoms but are otherwise healthy or under age 40.
Nail Bed Test
Count the number of moles on your entire body. You'll need a mirror or the help of a partner. If you have more than 50, you're at increased risk for melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. This means you should see a dermatologist at least once a year for a skin check.
If you notice a thick white line circling the edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye), it could be a sign of high cholesterol. Pull down your lower eyelid and look inside. If you see bumps that look like cobblestones, it can indicate an allergy, most commonly involving dust, pet dander, or mold.
*Source: Health Radar- September 2014 Issue