5 Unmistakable Signs You've Ignored Your Health for Too Long

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Hey, no judgment if your breakfast is leftover chocolate cake. And we're not going to roll our eyes if you admit to watching all the new Gilmore Girls eps in one fell swoop. (Been there, done that.) What we WILL say is that sometimes bad habits sneak up on all of us.


And before you know it, your health SUCKS.

We asked experts to give it to us straight: What are the signs that our health has gone over to the dark side?

Here's the cruel truth:

1. You have no clue what your weight is. (Or the results of your last lab tests.)

"This is often because someone doesn't take the time to check or suspects the numbers aren't good and doesn't want to know," says Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

FYI, "ignoring a medical issue typically just makes it worse," she adds.

2. You booze it up pretty good.

"A serving size of alcohol should be five ounces, but who knows that?" asks Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and author of She-ology. Crack open a bottle of wine with friends and you should be able to pour five glasses. Not like, TWO.

Why this matters: "Alcohol increases the risks of many chronic medical problems, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer, explains Dr. Ross.

3. You can't remember the last time you went to the gym.

Or broke a sweat doing something other than carrying groceries. "Daily chores definitely count as exercise, but you may be overestimating the amount of calories burned or your level of physical conditioning," cautions Dr. Arthur.

Physical activity done on a regular basis is a MUST, agrees Dr. Ross. "It helps both your physical and mental health."

4. You're not sleeping well. Like, ever.

"Our need for sleep never changes," Dr. Ross says. "We don't give adequate rest the respect it deserves." If you don't get enough ZZZs every night, your body has a tougher time fighting off illness.

5. You humble-brag about your constant fatigue.

Just because we ALL do it doesn't mean it's right. On the contrary, barely being able to keep your eyes open could mean you've got a more serious condition lurking, Dr. Arthur says.

More from CafeMom: 10 Cities Where It's Almost Impossible to Live & Lose Weight

But now that you know the signs that your health is spiraling just a skosh out of control, don't go into panic mode. There ARE things you can do to stop this. Now. Today. And they're relatively painless:

Find a doctor you LIKE. This can take some trial and error, but feel free to switch if you don't click with the first one you meet. And here's a little hint: "The best time to get to know your doctor is when you're feeling well," Dr. Arthur says. "It can be stressful to have to find a new doctor when you're acutely ill."

Know your numbers. Pull on your big girl pants and get screened for your BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar. If the numbers suck, no sweat. Keep reading.

Get moving. Annoyed at hearing this? Then turn off your computer already and go for a walk. Even 10 minutes will make you feel less cranky and more energized.

Make some time for yourself. If you have kids and/or work, this will feel super-indulgent. Do it anyway. Sneak into your bedroom and do yoga, read a book, take a hot bath -- aim for 15 minutes EACH day, says Dr. Arthur.

Try to eat a little less crap. "Most people can benefit from eating fresh foods," Dr. Arthur says. "This means avoiding packaged and processed foods as much as possible." Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish and poultry, and seeds and nuts.

A general rule of thumb when you're at the store: "Check the list of ingredients," Dr. Arthur advises. "If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it."

Get some rest. How weird has our world become that we have to remind ourselves to go to sleep every night? But just like you tell your kids it's time for a nap or bedtime, follow your same advice.

A) It's never too late.

B) Your health will thank you.

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