Easy health tests you can do from the comfort of your home

The Social
It's important to take an active role in monitoring our health, and it turns out it might be easier than we thought. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff returned to The Social with some simple health tests that people of all ages can do at home.

THE BREATH TEST (All Ages)
  • Scrape the back of your tongue with a spoon or tongue scraper and then sniff it.
  • For most people, the importance of this test is simply making sure they don’t have bad breath. Tongue bacteria are responsible for a bulk of that.
  • If the coating is thick and coloured, it suggests a possible bacterial overgrowth, which in turn is responsible for bad breath.
  • If it smells sugary, like rotten banana, it may be the smell of ketones, which can reflect diets very low in carbohydrates. It could also mean diabetes.
  • If it has the smell of ammonia, it could be linked to kidney disease.
  • Tongue scrapers are really useful in helping to remove bacteria from the tongue/back of mouth – the ones I like the best are metal strips with handles.


THE TREADMILL TEST (Younger Adults)
  • Warm up for 10 minutes, as you would do for any workout.
  • Set the treadmill at a zero incline and a speed of 3.3mph if you’re a man, 3.0mph if you’re a woman.
  • Start the timer when you’re ready to begin the test.
  • Increase the incline 2% after one minute.
  • MEN: increase the incline 1% every minute thereafter
  • WOMEN: increase the incline 2.5% every three minutes thereafter
  • Continue doing this as long as you can. The idea is to keep up the pace and increase the incline until you are exhausted and cannot continue.

THE CROSS-LEGGED SQUAT TEST (Middle-Aged Adults)
  • Cross your legs and squat without using hands, knees, or any body parts. And no wobbling.
  • You start with a possible 10 points – 5 points down, 5 points up.

THE CLOCK TEST (Older Adults)
  • Ask the subject in question to draw a clock with numbers on it and tell them to place the hands of the clock in their drawing at “ten to two.”
  • If mistakes are made in hand placement, numbering, or the size of the arms or the clock, it may infer some problems with cognition. That, in turn, would be best to be worked up by their physician or a geriatrician.
  • Another test that can be Googled and administered is the MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) test. You can get a copy of this online at mocatest.org. It covers many different areas of cognition and brain function.

For more from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his website here. You can also pick up his book, The Diet Fix, here
 

The information provided on the show is for general information purposes only. If you have a health problem, medical emergency, or a general health question, you should contact a physician or other qualified health care provider for consultation, diagnosis and/or treatment. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-diagnosis or treatment based on anything you have seen on the show. 

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