80ºF

5 at-home health tests that could reveal hidden dangers

Tall, thin, fit or fat, your size and shape might not reveal as much as something as simple as a plank.

“If you can hold this for two minutes, this probably is a good indicator that you've got a good core strength,” said medical director Dr. Sujata Sharma, AFC Doctors Express.

AFC doctors warn if you cannot do this, it could mean you are carrying too much weight and adding to your health problems.

“Like back pain and numbness in the leg sometimes because you don't have a good structure or good support system,” Sharma said.

Next, sit and stand from a seated position on the floor. The idea is to use as few body parts as possible, testing balance, flexibility and there's a bonus.

“Doing this increases calorie burn because you're using certain muscles,” she said. “If you can do it, it will rev up your metabolism a little bit… seems simple but when you actually sit down and do it, it's challenging.”

But that's all a wash if your heart is weak.

“You count for 15 seconds and multiply that by four because that would be a full minute,” Sharma said. “The normal heart rate is between 70-100.”

Now try this, it might seem silly, but drawing a clock can tell you if it's time to see a neurologist.

“So, this is actually testing a couple of things: coordination, your cognitive abilities, and somebody with dementia might leave out numbers or not be able to follow instructions,” Sharma said.

And here's the one that can reveal hidden dangers:  Dr. Sharma says scrape your tongue with a spoon, put it in a plastic bag, close it, then smell.

“For example, a diabetic patient will have a fruity odor to either that bag test or even their urine… someone with kidney problems will have a pungent odor… if your tongue is really sore you might be a patient with dry mouth or unfortunately, even sleep apnea.”

She said sleep apnea and dry mouth are detected in this similar way because people with sleep apnea will sleep with their mouths open.