Can you SMELL your own risks?
Your sense of smell can let you know plenty about what's going on.
It'll tell you when there's a fire... or just a BBQ. It'll announce with glee when there's something delicious around, and warn you away from something that's gone bad.
But there's one smell your nose CAN'T pick up on, and that's the smell of something seriously wrong in your own body, as new research reveals a surprising warning sign of deadly health risks: the loss of your sense of smell.
In other words, the nose doesn't always know!
The risk is nothing to sniff at, with a single wrong answer on a 13-question smell test boosting the odds of dying by 8 percent over 10 years.
The more wrong answers, the bigger the risk... with a complete loss of the sense of smell increasing the odds of death by nearly 20 percent.
In fact, over the course of the 10-year study, nearly 25 percent of the 1,774 patients had died -- and ALL of them had at least some loss of sense of smell.
Other studies have also found a link between loss of smell and the risk of serious health problems. Smell -- or loss of smell -- might even be the single strongest indication of dementia around.
There's no blood test for Alzheimer's yet. But in the not-too-distant future, there's very likely to be a smell test!
This new study shows there's even more potential for the smell test, as the folks who took part weren't dementia patients, and they didn't die of the disease.
That makes loss of smell a completely independent risk factor for a visit from the Grim Reaper.
There's no official sniff test out there just yet, but you can certainly arrange your own easily enough. Many of the tests used in studies rely on strong and easy-to-identify smells using items you probably have around your home such as peanut butter and lemon.
Don't panic if you're noticing your sense of smell is fading or even gone altogether with some things.
It's a risk factor, not something set in stone.
If anything, finding out now gives you time to sniff around to figure out what's wrong and fix it before it becomes an issue.
Start with a visit to a doc. Most folks put off their physicals and bloodwork, which can reveal hidden problems, health risks, and more.
But if you spot them now, you can have them fixed in time to enjoy at least one scent: the sweet smell of success.