Most people try to avoid the thought of what their lives would be like if their health failed. But for those who are brave enough to have those thoughts, they probably don’t have an accurate perception of what it’s really like to be near death’s door and in need of medical attention. They’ll likely base their assumptions on what they’ve seen in movies, and dread the day they develop an inexplicable cough or debilitating nausea.
In the real wold however, the signs that indicate poor health often aren’t very obvious. Here’s what you should really look out for:
- If you’re beginning to lose your sense of smell, look out. Studies have shown that people who have trouble smelling or have lost that sense completely, have a drastically higher mortality rate . Their chances of dying over a 5 year period are somewhere between 2-4 times higher than people who can still smell.
- A loss of appetite, particularly among seniors, is a common symptom seen in people before they die of natural causes. That’s because the human metabolism begins a precipitous drop before death occurs. Mortality rates typically rise if the appetite loss continues for more than six months .
- One little known sign of declining health is poor grip strength. Obviously, there can be other causes. It’s safe to assume that if your grip isn’t what it used to be, you could just be getting older. It’s no secret that we all lose muscle mass as we age. But if you’ve experienced a dramatic loss of grip strength, then you have a much higher chance of dying by any cause. More importantly, people who have weak grip strength have a significantly higher chance of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack .
- If you’re not treating your body right by smoking, not eating healthy food or exercising regularly etc, over time your heart rate and blood pressure is going to increase. We all know that this isn’t a good sign, but most people don’t realize how significant the ramifications are. An examination of 46 studies  that collectively involved over 2 million people, found that those who have a resting heart rate that exceeded 80 beats per minute had a 45% higher risk of mortality by any cause.
- One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re in bad health isn’t a symptom, but a test that can be administered anywhere. It’s called the SRT test , which measures your physical mobility, and has been proven to show your chance of dying from any cause over a five-year period. The goal of the test is to sit down on the floor and stand back up without using any support. If you can cross your feet, sit down and standup without any support, you get 10 points. You lose a point for each hand, arm, or knee you use to support yourself. Each point you have represents a 21% lower chance of dying over a five-year period, but if you score three or less, than your chances of dying of any cause is five times higher.