Chuck, I was recently watching a health segment on television. The university professor who was interviewed said our faces can tell us about the condition of our health. What do you think about that? – "Facing Reality" in Fredericksburg, Va.
This is a fascinating issue because it's true – or most of it. Your face can be a road map to your health, and it can help you to be a detective of what's going on inside your body.
The process is called face mapping or face reading, and it originated in China roughly 3,000 years ago.
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During a recent interview on television, Dr. Philippa Cheetham from the urology department at Winthrop-University Hospital spoke for many in the medical community when she said: "One of the first things that I learned at medical school was how to look at the face to look for signs of disease. ... The face can tell us so much about your medical health."
Similarly, cardiologist David Friedman from Plainview Hospital said that the face is an important diagnostic he uses every day in his practice and that it is "a clue that something is happening internally."
So how do some of our external facial features reveal our internal health? Here are a few examples:
- Eyes. Cheetham explained: "In the eyes, we can see signs of anemia. ... We can see signs of jaundice when the whites of the eyes go yellow. If you have a white circle around the colored part of your eye, that can be a sign of high cholesterol. If you lose the outer thirds of your eyebrows, that can be associated with an underactive thyroid." Lillian Pearl Bridges, a professor of Chinese medicine and a leading authority on Chinese facial reading, explained that puffy eyelids might be a sign of a cholesterol problem. Fatty deposits in eyelids can be a sign that your kidneys and gallbladder are not processing fats properly. And dark circles under the eyes could be a sign of lack of sleep, dehydration or even kidney problems.
- Skin. Deposits of cholesterol under the skin (xanthelasmata), slightly yellow or skin-colored lumps (often found on hands and ankles, too), are one of the strongest signs for both heart attacks and heart disease.
- The condition reveals that the body is overrun with low-density lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of coronary artery disease. And visible small spider veins or jaundice-colored skin or whites of the eyes can be associated with liver problems, too.
- Cheeks. The cheeks are associated with the lungs. Doctors know that people who suffer from emphysema or chronic bronchitis could have puffy and rosy cheeks or bluish lips, which are signs that someone is struggling to get oxygen. Puffy cheeks also can be a sign of an underactive thyroid.
- Lips. The Daily Mail cited several aspects of lip health as it relates to other bodily ailments. Bluish lips could be a sign of heart and lung problems. Pale pink lips could be a sign of anemia. Swollen lips could be a sign of food sensitivity, which can lead to Crohn's disease. Cracked lips could be a sign of anemia or diabetes – the latter because the elevated blood glucose levels associated with it foster the growth of candidiasis, an infection caused by yeast that often attacks the corners of the mouth. And burning lips could be a sign of depression or chemical imbalances.
- Nose. Professor Bridges further explained that the nose is a sign of heart health. If the tip of the nose is multicolored, there could be a cardiac problem. She says the area and groove under the nose can tell one about his or her reproductive health and even whether one is pregnant.
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You've heard the adage that something might be as plain as the nose on your face. That just might be the case with your health, so make an appointment to see your physician or health practitioner to discuss what you see in the mirror.
Reading faces for health gives a whole new meaning to the saying, "It's written all over your face."
Like it or not, when it comes to our health, we need to face the music!
Next week, I will not only discuss other features – such as earlobes and receding hairlines – and their correlations to internal health but also tell you what your face reveals about your personality.
Write to Chuck Norris with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at ChuckNorrisNews.blogspot.com.