Ever been with a group of people and the next thing you know your stomach seems to be singing them all a song? It can be pretty embarrassing, but the truth of the matter is that our bodies make some pretty strange sounds.
Sometimes bodily sounds can indicate hunger or that you have to visit the bathroom. If you ever wondered what some other sounds are trying to tell you, keep reading…
What your body sounds mean
If you have ever tried to speak while having the hiccups, then you know how difficult it can be. We all have our go-to tricks to get rid of them – holding our breath, drinking water upside down – but why do we hiccup in the first place?
Hiccups occur when our diaphragm spasms, resulting in an interruption when we inhale. The diaphragm can be controlled by the vagus and phrenic nerves; these can be stimulated by excitement, medications or our stomachs after eating.
Holding our breath can sometimes work to get rid of hiccups because increased carbon dioxide in the lungs relaxes the diaphragm.
Sometimes hiccups only last for a short while, but if hiccups stick around longer than 48 hours seek medical attention because they could be an indication of nerve irritation. Additionally, hiccups have been noted as a symptom of stroke, so look out for other stroke symptoms like shortness of breath or pain.
You can dismiss the long-believed myth that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis; studies have shown this not to be true. Between our joints is fluid which keeps them lubricated. If you’re in a squatted position and then stand back up you may hear a pop as the fluid bubbles burst.
Popping joints do become a concern, though, if combined with stiffness, reduction in mobility or severe pain. These symptoms can indicate a rupture of the ligament or injury. If the popping progresses to a grinding that can be an early sign of osteoarthritis.
If you endure loud noises over a long period of time – whether from your work or attending a concert – you will notice a faint ringing in your ears. But aggressive sounds are not the culprit and the ringing is persistent on a daily basis, you could have tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be caused with aging and infection or damage to the ear. Our ears are meant to send sound waves to the brain as they come in. But with tinnitus, the damage to the ear continues to send signals to the brain even though no sound can be heard.
If ear ringing is accompanied by pain or vertigo it can be more serious and an indicator of neurological issues, so consult your doctor.
If your nose ever sounds like a whistle, it’s the result of an obstructed airway. Excess mucus can be to blame.
If you have experienced trauma to the nose, a whistling sound can be the sign of a tear in the cartilage. This may need to be repaired through surgery so seek out medical attention.
Although many noises from the body are harmless, if they persist they can be symptoms of something more serious. One thing is for sure: Sound is one of the many unique ways our bodies can communicate with us.
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