How to read your own body language
A team of physicians and nurses have outlined a few body language lessons that they feel could help keep you healthy.
Your body is a reflection of your health, and every day it sends out signals about how healthy or unhealthy you may be.
If you can read the signs correctly, you will be better equipped to detect and prevent the onset of illness.
However, if you are like most people, you may be getting your signals crossed.
The doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital of ABC's hit summer series 'NY MED' have offered help to help you read your own body language.
According to Dr. Guy McKhann, neurological surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, if you experience the sudden onset of "the worst headache of your life," this could actually represent a brain hemorrhage or ruptured aneurysm.
Any sudden change in the appearance of your breast or nipple could be a sign of possible breast cancer.
Check with your doctor if you see any dimpling of the skin or any retraction of the nipple. The best way to catch these changes is by doing self breast exams every month, Dr. Mia Talmor, plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction, has said.
It's easy to ignore the early warning signs of colon cancer, such as changes in bowel habits, blood in your stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, weakness or unexplained weight loss.
The best way to prevent colon cancer is to get colonoscopies beginning at age 50 to remove benign polyps that may become cancerous, over time, if left in place, Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, gastrointestinal surgeon, said.
If you are resting and suddenly feel a severe pain or extremely uncomfortable pressure in your chest, back, neck, left arm, or jaw, these are sure signs of a heart attack.
Swollen legs, erectile dysfunction and trouble sleeping are all indicators of poor circulation and often spell heart failure. You may want to see your cardiologist to get to the root of the problem before trying to address the symptoms, Dr. Hiroo Takayama, cardiothoracic surgeon, said.
If women feel pressure in their chest or shortness of breath when they are exerting themselves, see a doctor, but they should also consider nausea and excessive sweating as signs that there may be a problem with their heart, Dr. Allan Stewart, director aortic surgery program, said.
Unusually long periods of shortness of breath after exercise in children, and fainting, especially after exercise, are signs that your child may have a heart condition. A pediatrician may also suspect a heart condition if a child suddenly develops a heart murmur or has unexplained hypertension, Dr. Emile Bacha, pediatric cardiac surgeon, said.
Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, is a very silent disease that often does not have any obvious symptoms in the beginning. Once the condition has progressed to an advanced stage, you may experience yellowing of the eyes, vomiting blood, a tar- coloured stool, abdominal bloating and feeling confused or disoriented, Dr. Tomoaki Kato, chief of abdominal organ transplantation, said.
Mini-strokes are characterized by numbness or shaking of one part of your body; loss of your ability to speak; or an alteration in consciousness, Dr. Guy McKhann, neurological surgeon, said.