Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Author -  Good Health

A strange, irregular looking mole

From a young age, New Zealanders are taught to be sun smart. However, skin cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand. Check your moles on a regular basis – it could be nothing… or it could be something. The most common kind of skin cancer are basal-cell carcinomas, which are slow-growing and 95 per cent treatable when caught early. Melanomas are much more aggressive and can spread quickly – so early detection is crucial. The Melanoma Foundation recommends the ABCDEs of melanoma for early detection. If you notice any of these changes, then see your doctor or skin specialist straight away. And remember, especially at this time of year, to always use sunscreen and reapply often.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Excessive Nosebleeds

It’s easy to pass off a random nosebleed as the direct result of dry air, a change in temperature, aggressive nose-blowing or allergies, and most of the time they are just that. Nose bleeds occur when the small vessels in the nose have tiny cracks and the high pressure pushes blood out of them.

However, if they occur out-of-the-blue or more frequently, nosebleeds can be an outward sign of a more serious underlying health problem such as high blood pressure.

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure there are lots of natural ways to help your body regulate it, such as introducing some daily exercise to your routine, reducing alcohol consumption, not smoking, and adding foods rich in bioflavonoids to your diet, which help to strengthen the walls of veins and capillaries - strawberries, broccoli, garlic and spinach are all great sources. Omega 3 fatty acids (in particular flaxseed oil) have also been found to be helpful when lowering blood pressure.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

A sore throat

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, up to 40 per cent of adults use antibiotics for this condition, even though there's no evidence that the cause is bacterial. Sometimes it’s the first sign of infection, so taking immune boosting herbs and vitamins can help knock it on the head early.

However, the sensation of swallowing crushed glass is not something to ignore, especially if it lasts longer than a few days. This could indicate strep throat – a nasty bacterial infection, which won’t go away on its own. If this happens, visit your healthcare professional where they can prescribe you some targeted treatment.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Sore knees

It's not uncommon to feel twinges or hear the odd creak in your knees as we get older, or even during or after strenuous physical activity. It’s important to identify the cause of pain and whether a certain type of exercise is causing it. If symptoms persist, seek advice from a physiotherapist or relevant healthcare professional, in case there may be an underlying musculoskeletal problem, especially if you have suffered from a previous knee injury. 

Ongoing injuries or joint problems can lead to osteoarthritis, or if it is in the same joint on both sides it can indicate rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition affecting the joints.

Natural dietary supplements can definitely provide some relief, but it’s best to talk to your healthcare professional first to determine the cause and the next steps for your particular situation.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Ongoing leg pain

It's easy to write off leg pain as a cramp or muscle fatigue, but if it’s not muscle related, it could mean that something is amiss with your health. One of the first signs that something may be off-kilter with the circulatory system is leg pain. When the blood vessels in the legs become blocked by plaque (known as PAD), or a clot forms (which can occur for example, after a long-haul flight), it causes a shortage of oxygen to the muscles or a blockage of blood flow. This can occur in the thighs, calves, or feet.

Keeping your circulation in-check can be surprisingly simple: get up and move every 90 minutes, especially if your job entails sitting for long periods; stop smoking; reduce your alcohol intake and avoid trans fats where possible.

Another potential reason for regular muscle cramps or spasms is a magnesium deficiency. If this is the case, try using Good Health Magnesium Cream in your healthcare routine.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

Cracks and sores in the corners of your lips

This can become an uncomfortable skin condition and if you are finding that lip balm just isn’t cutting it and cracks are progressing to splits at the corners of your mouth, it could indicate a vitamin B deficiency, in particular vitamin B2. Good food sources of B2 are liver, lamb, dairy products, spinach, eggs and almonds, but because B vitamins work together it best to take them as a complex such as a B-vitamin supplement to boost levels. Spirulina for example, is a good source of all B vitamins, so adding a scoop to your daily smoothie is an easy way to increase your intake. Although not as common other nutritional deficiencies that can cause cracks in the corner of the mouth include iron, zinc, protein, niacin (B3).

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

You’re Always Tired

If you’re sacrificing sleep for a hectic lifestyle, you’re bound to feel tired, but don’t dismiss your fatigue too quickly. Despite what your equally busy friends may tell you, feeling tired all the time is not normal and a constant lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues. It’s likely that you just need to dedicate a bit more time to getting some decent shut-eye, but continuous fatigue could indicate there is something else occuring in your body. It could be that your adrenal glands have taken a hammering and are no longer regulating your hormone levels like they should be; this modern-day issue is called Adrenal Fatigue and it’s becoming more prevalent in today’s fast paced world. The good news is, there are many natural supplements and some great stress-busting techniques that can help.

Listen to your body: how to keep your health in-check for 2016

There’s no reason to live your life wrapped in cotton wool, but being aware of these signs and symptoms can help to ensure your body stays in good health. Never be afraid to talk to your healthcare professional if you’re worried about your health - they’re there to help. With that said, a healthy diet, sunblock, a decent amount of sleep and regular check-ups go a long way. Remember to listen to your body and pay attention when it’s trying to send you messages.

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