Ask The Expert

Five ways to listen to your body and avoid serious health problems

Sara Davenport is the founder of one of the UK’s leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven, and writes the health blog www.reboothealth.co.uk. Her new book, ‘ReBoot Your Health – Simple DIY Tests and Solutions to Assess and Improve your Health’ is available in bookshops and on Amazon now. Here she discusses how to listen to your body and the five things to look out for to avoid serious health problems.

Your body whispers before it shouts… Remember that phrase the next time you worry about your health.

Most of us never stop to listen to our bodies. In today’s stressed busy world, dominated by the digital, we are ever more cut off from our physical selves and are often shockingly unaware of how badly we are functioning. Some of us have chronic illnesses; others just feel a bit under par. But listen to the signs and you may well avoid having to end up on your doctor’s doorstep.

Sara Davenport

1. Food allergies

Do you come out in a rash if you eat shellfish, or bloat if you have a sandwich for lunch? Repeat and unusual reactions to certain foods is your body’s way of flagging you have a problem. Listen to it. There is a simple test you can do at home to find out once and for all which food is the problem: a change in your pulse rate is your body’s attempt to speak to you. Cut out the foods that trigger it.

2. Test your saliva and urine

You can check if you are heading in the wrong direction by testing your saliva and urine. Your pH level can be measured and will show you what’s going on – the scale ranges from acid at 0 through to totally alkaline at 14. Simply put, the more alkaline you are, the better for your overall health; the more acid the worse. Too much stress and too many processed foods lead to high acidity and allows disease to flourish. Testing your saliva and urine is a simple way of getting a snapshot of your levels. You can test both with inexpensive pH strips that you can buy online.

3. Lymph Check

When your body is being overloaded with toxins and finding it difficult to remove them your lymphatic system will struggle. Regularly checking your lymph is the way to ‘listen’ to what it is trying to tell you. Join your three first fingers together and gently press each area of your lymph nodes (the book shows you where these are). If any area feels hard and slightly swollen then you may have an infection – or it can be an indicator of more serious issues.

4. The Meridian Clock

Do you wake up at the same time each night? Did you know that Chinese medicine links different two hour periods of the day and night to different organs of the body, so any repeat disturbance at a set time is said to be an indicator that a specific organ is weak. If you wake up at 2am your liver may be crying out – or at 4am, your lungs are struggling.

5. Thyroid problems

Thought to affect up to 50% of us, thyroid problems are more common than you think. Feeling continually tired, depressed and downright chilly? It may be that your thyroid hormones are out of balance. Ask your body and it will give you a clue. Record your underarm temperature over a period of several days and note down the figures. Between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees F you are working well – higher or lower and your body is trying to flag the problem.

Your body speaks to you in many other ways. You just need to learn the language it speaks and become your own ‘health detective’.

About the expert

Sara Davenport is the Founder of one of the UK’s leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven, and writes the health blog www.reboothealth.co.uk. Her book, ‘ReBoot Your Health – Simple DIY Tests and Solutions to Assess and Improve your Health’ is available in bookshops and on Amazon now, and offers a series of simple inexpensive tests and questionnaires that you can do at home that will put you in touch with your body and not only show you how to ‘hear’ what your body is saying, but give you solutions to sort any problems.

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