If the only time you pay attention to your health is when you get that once-a-year bloodwork done at your physician’s office, it’s time to reconsider your lifestyle, Dr. Josh Axe says.
“A lot of people say, ‘Hey, I had the check mark from my doctor and everything’s good,” says Axe, doctor of functional medicine and founder of natural health site DrAxe.com, which has helped millions of people adopt a healthier lifestyle and find natural remedies.
But, he says, this focus on numbers on a chart, rather than how our bodies are actually feeling and performing, is one reason why so many Americans limp along, feeling fatigued and suffering from one ailment after another.
“I think it’s really important that people learn to just listen to their bodies” and ask themselves questions about it, Axe explains. “We’re talking about looking at your tongue, looking at your skin. What does your skin say? What is your digestive tract telling you? On a scale of one to 10, what are my stress levels?”
Small signs like dark circles under your eyes, constipation or loose stool can signal chronic conditions or imbalances within the body, according to traditional Chinese and ayurvedic medicine—signs that may go undetected in a traditional checkup and indicate a problem before blood tests would show a problem.
“I hear, ‘Hey, maybe that’s normal as I age.’ The truth is that that’s not normal,” Axe says. “And our digestive system is one of the biggest things that can tell us if we’re healthy or not,” as well as the condition of our skin.