In hockey, a body check happens when a player tries to separate another player from the hockey puck through high-speed contact.
But off the ice, a body check can help you skate through life. Here are three that can deliver big health news.
Check your tongue. A bright-red, inflamed tongue could indicate a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Lesions (white, blue and smooth) can signal oral cancer. A white coating could mean you're breeding nasty bacteria. Ulcers (viral or bacterial) may pop up from chronic stress.
Smart moves: Get a blood test to check your vitamin B-12 level. Have your dentist check for signs of oral cancer at your twice-a-year cleaning. Brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth, and say "Om"!
Check your nails. Split nails could mean deficiencies in biotin, B-12 and vitamin C. Yellowing can indicate fungal infection. Rippled nails may signal inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis. Brittle nails can signal hypo- or hyperthyroid conditions. Changes in nail shape can be triggered by fungus or may mean heart problems.
Smart moves: Don't ignore nail changes; see your doctor.
Check your ears. Do you hear ringing? You may have a neurological condition called tinnitus or simply need your ear wax cleaned out. Ringing ears with dizziness? That could signal Meniere's disease, associated with fluid retention in the inner ear.
Smart moves: Don't postpone diagnosis; there are treatments that can ease and even eradicate symptoms.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.