There are several benefits of regular check-ups. But, going to the hospital occasionally, might not be possible for many. Also, in the ongoing COVID situation, it is safe to be at home itself. In such cases, you can perform tests at home. Yes, many diagnostic tools can help you to do check-ups at home easily and accurately. Devices like thermometers, ECG monitors, pulse oximeters, glucometers, etc., are helpful for performing home tests. It is always advisable to seek a respective doctor’s help in learning how to operate the device and measures you should take if some illness gets detected through those devices. There are several health tests that one can perform at home like the below 9 check-ups:
1. Take Your Temperature
Your body temperature can determine if you might have a fever. You can do this via a thermometer. Adults’ normal temperature is around 37° C (98.6° F), but this can vary according to age, time of day, and from which part of the body you take the temperature. Check it when you are in good health to know what is normal for your body. For an accurate reading, you should invest in good thermometers.
Some wearable devices can measure body temperature but may not be reliable. A high temperature can be worrying, especially for a child. If the situation gets even a bit worse than a normal fever, you should seek medical advice either in person or via virtual consultation.
2. Testicular Checks
This is an important check you should perform to discover lumps or swellings that could indicate cancer. It is essential to check regularly so you can recognize any abnormality.
- Check your testicles after a warm bath
- Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand
- Use your fingers and thumbs of both hands to examine your testes
If you feel any unusual lump or swelling, sharp pain, or a heavy scrotum, you should immediately consult a doctor.
3. Be Breast Aware
It is crucial to stay conscious of how your breasts look and feel at different levels of your menstrual cycle. Breast changes can occur for many reasons, and most are not severe. You should look out for changes in the outline or shape of the breast if there are any lumps, bumps, or thickening. Also, look for any changes to the breast skin or nipple as these could signify cancer. You should seek a doctor’s help as soon as you notice any of these.
4. Checking Your Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate in the morning indicates your general wellness. What is a normal heart rate for you depends on your age and fitness. Check your heart rate every morning for a week to know your usual pulse rate. You can check it manually or using a heart rate monitor, smartphone app, fitness tracker, or wearables.
A change in heartbeats of 10 beats per minute (bpm) or more may suggest that you are not fit. Above 100 bpm can suggest that you are stressed, sick, dehydrated, or excited. If an elevated heart rate persists, then consult a doctor.
5. Blood Pressure
High blood pressure means a major risk for strokes, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney disease. Often there are no warning symptoms, so you should check your blood pressure regularly. Blood pressure monitors are easy to use. You just need to make sure that you are in a calm environment when you perform the test.
Normal blood pressure in adults ranges between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg. In case your blood pressure is high, you should consider:
- Eating healthily
- Exercising daily
- Keeping your weight down
- Cutting salt and alcohol intake
Also, consulting a doctor is vital if there is any change in blood pressure.
6. Checking Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes can lead to severe and fatal problems like heart diseases, kidney malfunction, dental problems, stroke, and blindness. You can invest in home blood glucose tests. If you suffer from some common signs of diabetes like increased thirst, increased hunger, blurred vision, dry mouth, or headaches, then you should consult a doctor. If your doctor thinks that you require further tests, they can arrange them for you.
7. Meningitis Test
Meningitis is a severe disease, especially for children, as it develops quickly and can be fatal. Here, spotting the symptoms by yourself can save lives. You should check for signs like:
- Neck stiffness
- Flu-like symptoms
- An aversion to bright lights
- Non-fading rashes
But you should not wait until a rash develops; instead, get medical help immediately if you suspect meningitis.
8. Waist Fat Measurement
It is vital to maintain a healthy body weight, but you should also ensure that you don’t carry excess fat around your waist. This can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. You should measure your waist every month. Measure it at the level of your belly button. You should try to lose weight if it is 94cm (37ins) for men and 80cm (31.5ins) or more for women, regardless of your height and BMI. Your health care provider can help you by providing a weight reduction program including dos and don’ts, exercises, diet, etc.
9. Skin Check
Skin cancer falls under one of the common types of cancer. But you can be aware that your skin needs any treatment so that you can save your skin at an early sign itself. For this, you should check yourself at least once a month, look for new growths or moles that have changed, or if they started to bleed, burn, itch, or crust over. You should immediately consult a doctor if you find any of these.
If you have fair skin, have a lot of moles, or have spent a lot of time in the sun, then you are more at risk and should consider getting a dermatologist to check you once a year. You can wear or apply different products that protect your skin from harsh UV rays.
Do not forget that consulting a doctor is always more reliable to get help in case of any query or abnormal activities in your body. You should always invest in good quality diagnostic tools for home. They give a surety of accuracy and are reliable.