The modern medical community when assessing a patient is really only conerned with the surface level health. They check your vital signs, pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate, temperature, etc. While these are all valuable they don't really give enough of a picture of what is going on inside your body. They merely give a glimpse of your state in an attempt to find out if anything is blatantly wrong. My advice to you is to follow the signs of life I have below as an indicator of your health. Paying attention to these things can worn you of potential problems weeks, months, or possibly years (many times 10yrs or more). Alot of these things people mistake for age. That these 'signs' I have listed below are mean't to decrease and disappear. I will tell you this is false. Ideally if you work daily to improve your health these Signs of Life should always be with you. The decline of these areas is more an indication that your health is slowly declining.
1) Ability to get up and go. While we all have bad mornings we should be able to get up and go at the sound of an alarm or a startling noise. Within seconds of being woken up from a deep slumber we should be able to move and reason as if we had been awake for hours.
2) Libido. Simply put your sex drive should be a tell tale factor in your health at all stages of life. While it may drop a bit with age, generally speaking you should feel a general sexual energy at least once or twice; or more, throughout the day. Not that you would necessarily act on that urge but to know that you still have the potential is a great sign of vitality. Hand in hand with this is fertility and the ability to conceive children in a brief period of time. If either the man or the woman or both in a relationship aren't healthy they will have difficulties conceiving. Some very simple changes in health can turn this around.
3) Ability to survive on minimal sleep for a short period of time. While I am not condoning sleep deprivation I will say that people who cannot function decently if they don't get 8hrs of sleep or more are probably not very healthy. You should have within you the physical reserves and stamina to push through a few days of less than optimal sleep and still function at a high level. A high level of fitness and perfect nutrition are your keys to managing lack of sleep.
4) Mental Clarity. This is one that I am seeing more and more... or should I say less and less. Fuzzy thought, fuzzy memory, poor memory, poor ability to make decision quickly and confidently, etc. A healthy person should have a sharp memory. They should be able to sort through their thoughts quickly. They should be able to make decision quickly and easily without tossing the issues back and forth for hours or days.
5) Poor digestion. No, reaching for the antacids after a meal isn't normal. Common maybe, but normal no. If you are healthy you should be able to digest a fatty, greasy meal without massive heartburn and gas. Secondly you should be eating healthy enough that you never experience these problems in the first place.
6)Poor skin quality. Acne, rashes, chronically dry skin, and various other chronic skin conditions are a huge reflection of whats going on in your body. If your intestinal health and diet is truly good you should not have acne. Candida and other intestinal imbalances frequently manifest themselves as eczema and other such conditions. Unfortunately poor skin isn't just skin deep.
7) Regularity. That's right you should be able to go to the bathroom frequently and almost effortlessly. You shouldn't have to squeeze and 'work it out'. You should be able to go, bare minimum, once per day. But even that is unhealthy, really a healthy person should need to go 3-5x per day or think of it as going as many times as you eat.
8) NO naps! A healthy person shouldn't need a nap. Don't get me wrong we all have days that we need to crash but it should be the exception and not the norm. Again exercise, diet and proper sleeping patterns all play a role here. More and more I am hearing of young individuals who 'need' a nap when they get home from a 6 hour shift just to get through their evening of sitting and watching TV.
9) Sleep through the night. People who get up frequently throughout the night and toss and turn are often unhealthy. Frequently they made a poor food choices before bed, frequently they are stressed out, they are overloaded with stimulants, etc. A healthy person will sleep deeply and continuously throughout the night.
10) Shouldn't need stimulants, especially a boat load of coffee to get through the day. This is self explanatory. If you give your body what it needs (i.e. water and proper nutrition) it will produce it 's own energy.
11) Headaches. This is something else that people think is normal. Once again it is common but not normal. Headaches are caused by one of the following: head trauma, nutritional deficiency, dehydration, high blood pressure from over exertion, muscular tension in the neck, toxicity, sleep deprivation, surrounded by high levels of noise for long periods of time. There are probably more but my point is they are all preventable and definitely none of them can properly be fixed by popping pills. Most of all headaches should not be a daily or weekly occurance.
Check yourself against this list frequently. There are more signs of life I will likely share later on but this should give you an idea if you are headed for trouble or if you are pretty healthy.