Do feet really get bigger with age?
Itâs certainly possible: After years of wear and tear, tendons and ligaments in your feet may weaken. This can cause arches to flatten, which means feet get wider and longer. It wonât happen to everyone, thoughâpeople who are overweight, who get swollen feet or ankles, or who have certain medical conditions, like diabetes, are more prone. If it does happen, the average gain is about one shoe size by age 70 or 80.âCary M. Zinkin, DPM, podiatric sports physician and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association
Whatâs with that stomach-in-your-throat feeling on roller coasters?
Your insides are actually shifting! When a coaster comes over its crest, slows for a second for added torture, and then plummets downward, the seat belt keeps your rear in place, but some loosely connected internal organsâlike your stomach and intestinesâget a little âair time.â Youâre not damaging your innards by riding even the craziest of coasters (everything returns to its proper place), but your nerves detect the movement, which registers as though your stomach has jumped into your throat.âMaged Rizk, MD, gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinicâs Digestive Disease Institute
How come women always seem colder than men?
The fairer sex has a higher percentage of body fat and conserves more heat around the core. That helps keep vital organs nice and toasty but not the extremitiesâand when your hands and feet feel cold, so does the rest of your body. Plus, research suggests that women have a lower threshold for cold than men. When exposed to the same freezing temperature, the blood vessels in womenâs fingers constrict more than menâs do, which is why they turn white more quickly.âKathryn Sandberg, director of the Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease at Georgetown University
Is âold-person smellâ real?
Yes. But thereâs also a distinctive middle-aged-person smell and a young-person smell, according to a recent study. The research found that older people have a less intenseâand more pleasantâscent than the middle-aged folk and young whippersnappers. Not what you expected, right?âPLoS ONE
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Why does room-temperature coffee taste so bad?
The temperature affects flavor. Researchers in Belgium found that certain taste bud receptors are most sensitive to food molecules that are at or just above room temperature. So hot coffee may seem less bitter (and, in turn, taste better) because our bitter-detecting taste buds arenât as sensitive when coffee is hot. Odors influence flavor as well, so even the most bitter hot coffee may taste delicious because of its pleasant aroma; room-temperature coffee doesnât smell the same.âPaul Breslin, PhD, professor at Rutgers University department of nutritional sciences
How come you wake up at night to urinate but not to do anything else?
Because the sophisticated, intelligent neurons in your gut that control colon contractions, which push out waste, are also influenced by your bodyâs circadian rhythm, the internal clock that wakes you when itâs light out and makes you feel sleepy at night. So most people donât have the urge to empty their colon in the middle of the night. On the other hand, the bladder, which acts a reservoir for the continuous flow of urine produced in the kidneys, can stretch only up to a certain volume before you gotta go. Normally, you can sleep six to eight hours without having to urinate, but certain medical conditions or drinking too much water before bed can wake you to use the bathroom at night.âPankaj J. Pasricha, MD, director of neurogastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology
Why do we have fingerprints?
Many experts think itâs to improve grip, but a British study from a few years back suggests otherwise. Researchers found that a fingerprintâs ridges actually made it harder to hold flat, smooth surfaces, like Plexiglas, because they reduced the skinâs contact area. Instead, they think our prints might help wick water off our fingertips or allow our skin to stretch more easily, which can protect it from damage and help prevent blisters. Other scientists have suggested fingerprints could improve our sense of touch. What we do know for sure is that no two peopleâs fingerprints are the same, even among identical twins.âV. Patteson Lombardi, PhD, research assistant professor of biology at the University of Oregon
Can achy joints really forecast the weather?
Maybe. A change in barometric readings may be part of the reason: Atmospheric pressure often drops right before bad weather sets in; this shift could cause body tissue to expand, which can lead to swelling and pain. The effect is slight, but people who have arthritic or inflamed joints may detect the difference. Temperature may have an impact too: In 2007, researchers at Tufts University found that every ten-degree drop in temperature corresponded with a small increase in osteoarthritic knee pain.âLeon Benson, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute and spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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Why does holding your breath help with hiccups?
Itâs thought that if you build up carbon dioxide in your body (by not exhaling), it will help stop your diaphragm from spasming, which is what causes the hiccups. When your diaphragm contracts involuntarily, it forces a quick intake of breath thatâs suddenly stopped by the epiglottisâa flap of cartilage located in the throat behind the tongue. That closure is what causes the hiccup sound.âMD advisers from The Doctors
Why do your teeth shift, even if you had braces as a teen?
Every smile is different, but a lot of this has to do with loss of the bone behind the gums that occurs with aging. If you lose enough boneâwhich can be exacerbated by such factors as smoking or gum diseaseâyour teeth can shift.âMD advisers from The Doctors
What makes my stomach growl?
It can be the sound of your digestive juices churning and stomach muscles contracting as they get prepped for food. To avoid those often poorly timed and embarrassing sounds, eat smaller meals more frequently.âMD advisers from The Doctors
Why do I sometimes get side stitches when I run?
Your diaphragm gets stretched, pulled, and pounded during a run, which can cause that sharp, stabbing pain at the lower edge of your rib cage, usually on the right side of your body. To help the pain pass, slow down and take more controlled, easy breaths.âMD advisers from The Doctors
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Why does armpit sweat smell worse than sweat from other places?
Your body has two kinds of sweat glands. Most of those on your arms and legs secrete a mix of water and salt. But the glands in your armpits (as well as your groin) release an oily substance, which bacteria love. Itâs actually the bacteria eating the oil that releases the telltale stench.âMD advisers from The Doctors