Body & Fitness

Signs of your health are in the mirror

Staring at yourself in the mirror is not generally seen as a very healthy way to spend your time. But, in fact, taking a long look at your face could be good for you. Your features can give away clues to your health - if you know what to look for.

Wrinkles

They’re not just a sign of old age, but there may also be a link between wrinkles and osteoporosis. US researchers studied women in their forties and fifties and found those with the worst wrinkles had the weakest bones. It’s thought this link is due to the fact that they are both made of collagen, and changes in collagen that lead to lines and sagging skin can also weaken bones.

Bloodshot eyes

Red, itchy eyes are often the result of hay fever, but can also be due to an inflammation of the iris called iritis. This is associated with an auto-immune disease called ankylosing spondylitis, in which the body attacks its own tissues, including the eye.

If the whole eye turns red it may be due to bleeding behind the eyeball due to high blood pressure causing tiny blood vessels to rupture.

Droopy eyelids

Conditions that affect nerves in the face, like Bell’s palsy, can cause a weakness or paralysis on one side of the face, making it difficult to open your eye.

Droopy eyelids can also be a symptom of a stroke, along with slurred speech and weakness in the mouth and arms.

In rare cases, they can also be a sign of lung cancer. one particular type of lung tumour can put pressure on a group of nerves that affect the eye.

Red face

Redness can be a sign of the auto-immune condition lupus, especially if it occurs in a butterfly-shaped rash over the cheeks and nose.

Red, patchy flushing on the face and neck is also a common sign of the menopause.

If you have patches on your face that are pinky-purple in colour, they could be a sign of heart problems. They may be due to increased blood pressure and reduced oxygen in your blood, caused by a condition in which one of your heart valves doesn’t open fully.**

Fat, puffy face**

While leading an unhealthy lifestyle can cause weight gain and make your face rounder, chubby chops may also be due to an underactive thyroid. When your thyroid doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine, your metabolism slows down and this can lead to weight gain, including on the face. Factors that affect your thyroid include drugs for depression and heart disorders.

Cracked lips

open cracks or sores in the corner of the mouth can be a sign of anaemia, caused by a lack of iron. Another possible cause is diabetes, which leads to too much glucose in the blood. This encourages the growth of candida, a type of fungus that can attack the corners of the mouth.

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