Monthly Archives: January 2011

Body’s Little Quirks

Whether uncomfortable, embarrassing or just plain weird, there are some pretty funky things that our bodies do. Curious about the causes of such reactions as hiccups, goose bumps and eye twitches, we spoke with Eric Plasker, DC, author of The 100 Year Lifestyle, to get the real scoop. Read on to discover the common reasons for 14 peculiar bodily functions.

Yawns
If your body is low on oxygen, your mouth opens wide and tries to suck more in. Yawning is a way to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood. Unfortunately, yawns are nearly impossible to stifle.

Eye Twitches
Serious eye twitches can be a symptom of neurological disorders, but often there is a more mundane explanation. Common causes for eye twitches include stress, lack of sleep extended staring or eye strain. Before you get frantic, try reducing your stress level, cutting back on caffeine and catching up on sleep.

Itches
According to Dr. Plasker, our skin most often gets itchy because of dryness associated with the environment or over-washing. Water and soap can strip skin of its natural oils, thus sapping moisture. Face or body lotion should be able to keep these types of itches under control; also look for body washes and soaps labeled ‘moisturizing’. If you still have itchy patches, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to a chemical, plant, food, animal or drug. See an allergist if the itching is persistent.

Hiccups
If you’ve frequently got a case of the hiccups, try slowing down when you eat and drink, suggests Dr. Plasker. Doing either too quickly causes your stomach to swell; this irritates your diaphragm, which contracts and causes hiccups. You may also get hiccups in emotional situations or if your body experiences a sudden temperature change. In both of these cases, the hiccups are a result of a glitch in your nerve pathways, which is why a sudden scare – which might shake up and reset your nerves – can sometimes end an episode.

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