Listening to Your Body Talk?

Listening to Your Body Talk - Seniors Today

The human body is an amazing and complex machine and at times, like any other machine, our body too protests, makes sudden noises, which can vary from embarrassing to alarming.

The human body is an amazing and complex machine, made of different systems and organs which work harmoniously and in tandem to ensure proper functioning of the body. At times, like any other machine, our body too protests, makes sudden noises, which can vary from embarrassing to alarming…let’s have a look at some of them.

1. The Popping Jaw

The jaw popping or cracking is often due to over extension of the jaw, like a yawn or opening the mouth wide for a bite. If, however, you get persistent pain every time you talk or chew, it could be a dysfunctioning TMJ ( Temporo mandibular joint),  the joint connecting your lower jaw to the temporal bone, and allowing movement.

This joint is used very frequently, therefore, wear and tear is natural. Stress, grinding teeth at night can aggravate the problem. It can also be due to muscle tightening or arthritis.


Avoid overextension of joint, try having soft diet if it happens too often. An ice pack applied locally, for a few minutes helps.

Cause for alarm:

If the popping of jaw is accompanied with pain, you should consult a dentist… It may require pain medication, or realignment of the jaw to relieve you of this problem.

2. The ringing in the ears

Tinnitus- the continuous ringing in the ears is experienced by most at some point or the other. It could be buzzing, a roar or a hiss. Some of the causes are exposure to loud noise, infections, and ear block due to wax or an injury.

A common cause can be damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. The damaged cells send electrical signals to the brain, which are interpreted as sound.


Treating the underlying condition, like wax removal, can treat the noise. If there is a vessel blockage, opening the vessel will help. In certain conditions, masking the sound with “white noise” helps. This is done with the help of hearing aids and white noise machines.

Cause for alarm:

Tinnitus, though bothersome, is rarely a reason to be alarmed about. If you have chronic tinnitus, you should see your physician, as they can treat any underlying cause.


3. Snoring

Snoring is the loud or harsh noise that is emitted when you’re asleep. Almost everyone snores now or then, but, for some people; it becomes a chronic condition, interfering in their lives.

Snoring is caused when air travels through the nasal passage and throat in a constricted manner, causing tissues to vibrate. The cause for constriction is varied. It could be due to nasal congestion, excessive alcohol intake, age- which makes the tissues lax.

It can also be due to obesity, as extra fat gathers around the passages, constricting them and causing snoring.


Posture correction, losing weight, getting your allergies treated, correcting an anatomical defect (like deviated nasal septum), can help in reducing snoring.

Cause for alarm:

Regular snoring of long standing can be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition where breathing stops and restarts at intervals. If not treated, this can lead to serious complications like stroke or a heart attack. 


4. Belching

Belching or burping is your body’s way of expelling excess air which has collected in the upper GIT, usually the oesophagus. 

Having heavy food, eating too quickly, drinking aerated drinks are some of the reasons people belch. GERD (gastro oesophageal reflux disease) could also manifest as belching. 


Eat slowly; avoid food which doesn’t agree with you. Reduce intake of carbonated drinks. Try relaxing during meal times.

Cause for alarm:

Chronic belching could be a sign of GERD, or infection. In extreme cases, these can result in ulcers. If you suffer from chronic belching, accompanied with acidity or heartburn, you should consult your physician.


5. Borborygmi

Borborygmi, or gut sounds, are sounds  heard when air and food pass through the GIT.

Gut sounds are a normal part of digestion.  Excessive or unusual rumbling may be heard in case of some underlying condition.

Causes could be as benign as switching to high fiber diet of fruits, to a condition such as lactose intolerance. Intestinal obstruction, ulcers and infections also cause the bowel sounds to change.


Avoid excessive intake of high fiber foods like fruits and beans. If lactose intolerant, avoid milk. Consume probiotics like curd.

Cause for alarm:

If stomach rumbling or flatulence is accompanied with pain, vomiting or fever, it could be a sign of intestinal obstruction or other gut conditions. You should, in this case, consult a physician.


6. Crepitus

Crepitus is the sound of your joints popping. Usually, it is not a cause of concern and common as one ages.

It could be due to the bursting of air bubbles in the joint spaces; or muscles and tendons snapping against the joint. It could also be due to arthritis. If accompanied with a grinding sound or feeling, it could be a sign of degeneration of the particular joint.


It usually, by itself, does not require any treatment. It is a common occurrence.

Cause for alarm:

If crepitus is accompanied by pain, swelling of joints or immobility, it could be indicative of a joint problem such as arthritis or degeneration. You should then consult a physician or orthopedic.

Listen to your body; it could be giving you a warning!

About Dr Nandini Saini

B.H.M.S,  D.B.Sc , Diploma in Aesthetics. (GCTA, Australia) Practicing homoeopath and aesthetician with an experience of over 15 years

View all posts by Dr Nandini Saini

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