Translate your body language and find out what those weird noises really mean.
From that gurgle in your tummy to the popping of a joint, the human body produces a curious symphony of sounds every day. Most of the time, it’s completely normal, if not slightly embarrassing. (Remember that time your stomach growled in the middle of that important morning meeting?) We go behind the sounds to see what are their causes, and if your burp or toot is a cause for concern — or just a giggle.
You Hear … Hiccup
What does it mean? Bouts of laughing, crying or coughing, or eating too quickly can cause hiccups; doing so can trap air in the abdomen, putting pressure on a nerve that causes the diaphragm to spasm.
Stop it: Traditionally, drinking a glass of water while holding the nose has been effective. Holding a deep breath or forcing a burp can help, too.
You Hear … Yawn
Why? You’re tired, bored, or not breathing deeply enough.
Avoid it: If you can’t take a nap, have a glass of cold water to wake up your brain, and do some deep breathing to increase oxygen levels.
You Hear … Burp
Why? Burping is a sign of indigestion. Eating too quickly or eating when stressed, anxious or nervous means your body isn’t prepared for proper digestion to take place. Swallowing air while eating may also cause burping, as can fizzy drinks.
Silence it: Make sure you’re relaxed, then take your time to chew. Try to cut down on fizzy drinks (you should be cutting out sugary soft drinks, anyway), and replace it with water or juice instead.
You Hear … Atshoo!
What does it mean? Sneezing is caused by an irritation of the histamine-producing cells in the nose and sinuses. This may be triggered by a virus or bacterial infection. If it happens on a regular or seasonal basis, you may have an allergy to something in the air such as pollens or dust particles.
Stop it: If you’re feeling like you’re coming down with an infection, add raw garlic to your salads and dose up on echinacea root. Tip: Don’t hold back a sneeze as it can cause damage to your inner ear drum and sinuses. (Eep!)
You Hear … Pfffertttttt
Why? Farting can mean you’ve been gulping your food too quickly, improper digestion or plain constipation.
Curb it: Eat slowly! Drink chamomile or dandelion tea and include papaya and pineapple in your diet, as this aids digestion.
You Hear … Click, Click
Where’s it from? Creaking or cracking noises are usually the gases and fluids in the joints moving around. It’s not necessarily the start of arthritis,
but you do need to look after your joints and keep them well-lubricated.
Silence it: Eat fish three times a week or take fish oil supplements. If you have painful or injured joints, glucosamine sulphate (a dietary supplement) can help with repair.