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What doctors can tell

What doctors can tell
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Having an open, candid, and frank relationship with your GP is an integral part of leading a proactive lifestyle. But before you even open your mouth, a trained medical professional can predict many facts about the state of your health.

Posture and body language can reflect state of being

Posture and body language can reflect state of being
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When a patient first walks into her office, Dr Lillie Rosenthal takes a long hard look at their posture. If someone arrives with open body language and a sense of confidence in their gait, she can deduct they’re generally in a positive frame of mind. “Body language and movement, such as if a patient is shuffling their feet and slow-moving, they may have a lack of energy and may be sick or perhaps depressed,” she shares. “I observe their arms and legs and general range of motion. If they are guarded in their body movements or moving their entire body instead of just their head, that can signal a physical or emotional problem. If they’re grimacing, facial expressions tells a lot. I stay very attuned to that.”

Here are 5 easy ways to improve your posture and your outlook on life!

A raspy voice may indicate a smoking habit

A raspy voice may indicate a smoking habit
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Your doctor (and ahem, everyone who loves you and knows you) has been encouraging you to cut out that smoking habit for years. But if you haven’t, chances are high they’ll be able to call your puff – er – bluff. Dermatologist Dr Anna D. Guanche explains she can tell when someone is a smoker as she gets closer to them. “They have a hoarse voice, inflamed gums and a specific cigarette smell to their breath and clothing that they themselves cannot detect,” she says. “They also often have a subtle yellowing of their nails and smoker’s lines around their lips that come from years of a repetitive motion – in this case, sucking on a cigarette.” While some of these symptoms fade, even a handful of cigarettes a week can be detectable to a trained eye – and nose.

If you need extra incentive to quit, here are 15 mind-blowing ways you body will heal when you stop smoking.

Bad breath could mean you have diabetes

Bad breath could mean you have diabetes
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…or that you had onion-filled tacos for lunch. Or that you’re a big fan of garlic. Or you haven’t brushed your teeth yet today. While there are plenty of reasons for a stench to linger in your mouth, cardiologist and nutrition and weight loss specialist Dr Luiza Petre says chronic bad breath could be a sign of a health condition. “Foul breath can be found in diabetes, liver disease, reflux, bacterial gut imbalances and poor dental hygiene. A complication of diabetes, ketoacidosis can give a fruity breath odour, resulting from overproduction of ketones,” she shares. Bottom line? If something tastes off in your mouth, seek some professional attention.

Hollow temples can indicate illness

Hollow temples can indicate illness
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You know how you look when you have a cold – puffy eyes, stuffy nose, sleepy face – but when you’re potentially facing a more serious condition, Dr Guanche says you’ll have a different appearance. The first physical symbol that makes her raise an eyebrow is in your eyes, via a condition called “bitemporal wasting” where your temple area looks hollow or indented. Other signs that confirm her suspicion include weight loss and a sallow, pale, deflated texture of their skin. Also, due to treatments or an illness itself, the person has often lost their appetite. Often, they have a grey pallor which comes from a lack of oxygenated blood due to the disease, she adds.

Yellow eyes could indicate liver disease

Yellow eyes could indicate liver disease
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As one of the more serious symptoms to be aware of, doctors are always on high alert for yellowing of the skin and eyes. Dr Guanache says one sign of liver disease is the yellowing of the whites of the eyes, which indicates early jaundice. “The liver is metabolised and it builds up in the body, lodging itself in the skin,” she explains.

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Thin or sore-filled skin could represent drug use

Thin or sore-filled skin could represent drug use
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In addition to illnesses or diseases that need to be treated and addressed, Dr Guanche says doctors are on high alert for signs of drug use. Usually, they first appear in a person’s skin, giving them the appearance of being emaciated. “They often have various sores and picked skin particularly on their arms. Sores can be from skin-popping, at the area where drugs are injected into the skin, or from track marks of IV drug abuse, or picked areas from the toxin build-up that comes with methamphetamine use,” she explains.

White eyes suggest health

White eyes suggest health
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Even if allergy season has you reaching for your eye drops at least once or twice throughout the day, if your pretty blues (browns or greens) are generally clear, Dr Guanche says she can tell a patient is more-or-less healthy. Especially if their attitude matches their pupils. “When someone has bright, dewy skin, clear sclera – or whites of their eyes – is alert when I am speaking to them and grasps things, and of course if they have an easy smile, clear voice tone, then they appear healthy,” she shares.

Rings around your eyes could mean you’re sick

Rings around your eyes could mean you’re sick
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When you’re sporting a makeup-free look after a day of exploring in the sun, your friends might comment on how fresh-faced and flushed your cheeks are. This usually shows how relaxed and comfortable you are, but when the opposite is true, Dr Rosenthal says it could mean there is trouble. “If there are rings under the eyes and their skin looks pale, these are important visual cues that something else may be going on internally,” she says.

A red face can mean hypertension

A red face can mean hypertension
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Though more common with age, Dr Petre says issues with blood pressure may first reveal themselves in a person’s face. Or more specifically, the colour in your face. “When blood pressure goes up, the body tries to lower it through vasodilation, and that gives a flushing to the face – blood translating into increased red colour. Additionally, people with fluctuating blood pressure may have breakage of capillaries, enhancing the redness,” she explains.  However, skin conditions like acne and rosacea can cause skin reddening too, so see a doctor to find out for sure.

Discover 6 sneaky causes of high blood pressure.

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