We waste a fortune on tests we don't need for conditions we don't have -- conditions we often shouldn't be worrying about in the first place.
All those unnecessary cancer screenings come to mind.
But there's one disease you should worry about, especially if you're getting up there in years -- and now, there's an easy test you can take that won't cost a dime, eat up much time, or require even a drop of your blood.
It's a simple quiz for Alzheimer's disease. The only catch here is that you don't take it yourself -- someone you love takes it for you.
The 21 questions on memory and behavior range from the more minor issues, like forgetting what day it is, to the more troubling signs of serious memory loss -- like mixing up family members and the inability to recognize friends.
You can see a whole version of the quiz on the website of the Daily Mail.
The questions are worth one or two points apiece, and anyone who scores more than 15 out of a possible 27 either has...or is at high risk for...Alzheimer's. I don't doubt that, either -- you'd have to be missing out on quite a bit to reach 15 points on this test.
It's a lot easier to hit the five points that supposedly indicate mild cognitive impairment -- and if that's you, don't worry too much. Some of the questions hit on struggles that even many healthy people face -- like problems calculating tips or operating the remote control.
I gave the quiz to a few friends, and most of them were at or near that five-point mark...so either everyone I know is suffering from cognitive impairment, or the bar for that one was set a little too low.
In any case, even hitting the high numbers isn't a surefire sign of Alzheimer's -- because in too many cases, dementia-like symptoms can be caused by something else entirely: medication.
So before you add one more drug to the list -- an Alzheimer's drug -- work with a naturopathic physician on getting off the pills you don't need and onto natural alternatives for the ones you do.
For many people, simply reducing or eliminating meds will make a night-and-day difference.
In addition, be sure to add a B complex to your supplement regimen. B vitamins can stop or even reverse memory loss if you already have it -- and, more importantly, keep it at bay if you don't.