9 Signs Of Good Health That May Seem Kind Of Weird
If you're going about your day, minding your own business, and suddenly your body does something weird, you might wonder what's up. Why are you passing gas, or burping, or suddenly dealing with an onslaught of saliva? These things can seem strange, but the good news is they're not only typical, but often a sign of good health.
The body is, after all, going through all its daily processes, whether you pay attention or not. The more noticeable side effects, such as a burp, might stand out or get your attention. But as long as nothing's painful, excessive, or making you feel sick, you can continue on your merry way knowing that your body's just doin' its thing.
It does like to stick to a routine, and it "internally regulates itself in different ways," Dr. Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center, tells Bustle. That's why if you travel, or go off your schedule, you might notice that certain things, like your bowel movements, get thrown out of whack. "This can be said for other bodily processes as well," Kouri says.
On an average day, though, you may notice several of the noises and sensations and side effects listed below. While they may seem strange, experts say they can actually be a sign of good health.
1. Daily Bowel Movements
It might seem excessive if your poop schedule includes going to the bathroom every single day. But having regular bowel movements is actually be a good thing. In fact, "even having a few bowel movements a day is not abnormal," Kouri says. It likely means you're getting enough water and fiber, and that your digestive system is running smoothly.
You should, however, keep an eye out for sudden changes. "If you begin to experience erratic bowel movements, then something may be wrong with your digestive process," Kouri says. "Things that can lead to abnormal bowel movements include electrolyte imbalances, such as magnesium, problems absorbing nutrients, or elevated stress."
2. Lots Of Saliva
Throughout the day, the body will produce saliva in order to keep your mouth healthy. "Saliva balances the pH in our mouths and helps protect our teeth," Kouri says. "If you notice a lot of saliva in your mouth, chances are your body is preventing cavities."
Saliva is also an integral part of the digestive process. As you chew, food is mixed with your spit and begins to break down before it even reaches your stomach. If you don't have a lot of saliva, and are experiencing dry mouth, let a doctor know so they can figure out why.
3. Shedding Flakes Of Skin
"We might notice that our skin sheds from time to time," Kouri says. "In addition, we may notice dry skin in certain areas." So if tiny flakes of skin are shedding from your body and softly drifting to the floor, don't be alarmed.
"Though weird, this is a totally normal process," Kouri says. "Skin is dynamic and it sheds itself to allow for the formation of new skin." You might also notice more flakes than usual if your skin is dry, like it might be in the winter.
You can always moisturize, or remove flaky skin as part of your showering process. "Exfoliating does this for us without really noticing," Kouri says. "However, if you miss a spot it will become apparent."
4. Vaginal Discharge
If you look on your underwear and notice some discharge, rest assured this is yet another typical body process. As Kouri says, "Clear vaginal discharge can be a sign that your vagina is functioning properly." This fluid is what lubricates the vagina during sex. And it can also change throughout the menstrual cycle, Kouri says, so you might notice more or less of it at different times of the month.
"However, foul smelling and discolored vaginal discharge may be a sign of an infection," he says. If the discharge changes, if you feel pain or itchiness, or notice a new or stronger odor, let your doctor know.
Even if you aren't sick, you may notice that you have a few boogers hanging around, or that you occasionally need to blow your nose. And once again, that's a-OK.
"Our body makes boogers to protect our lungs from viruses and foreign micro-particles, like dust," Kouri says. "Boogers are deposits of dried up mucous. Once the mucous traps these foreign materials, the small hairs in our noses, known as cilia, move the mucous to the front of the nose," and out of your body.
"If you notice some blood or discoloration of boogers, don’t be alarmed," he says. "This is normal and is usually from a dry nasal passage or from small blood vessels that get irritated when we blow or pick our nose."
6. Passing Gas
"Bloating and passing the [gas] that's associated with it is a totally normal part of the digestive process," Jess English, a registered dietitian based in Brighton, UK, and owner of Level Up Nutrition, tells Bustle. "Sure, it might not sound so great [...] or smell so great; but it's just your body doing its thing."
After you eat, your gut microbes start feasting away, English says, which in turn creates gas as a byproduct. "It's generally considered normal to pass [gas] up to 20 times per day," she says. "It's even one of the first things they'll check you're doing after surgery to make sure that your gut is working."
If you're passing gas more often than that, however, let a doctor know, especially if it's "associated with lots of pain or other symptoms that are adversely affecting your life," English says.
7. Creating Earwax
"Producing wax in your ears may be annoying, but it is a sign of good health," Kouri says. "Earwax, or cerumen, is like mucous and boogers in your nose. It serves to lubricate the ear canal, protect the ear drum, and acts as a barrier to trap foreign particles."
That's why you won't want to remove it completely when cleaning your ears by digging deeply inside with a cotton swab. "Earwax has even been shown to have some antibacterial and anti-fungal properties," Kouri says. "Though it may be fun to pick at earwax, it’s best to avoid this because it can damage the eardrum. If you feel that you have too much earwax build-up see a physician for assistance."
8. "Bouncy" Skin
Here's a weird test you can try: "If you pinch your skin and it bounces right back, this is a sign of appropriate hydration and overall good health," Kouri says. "Delayed bounce-back, or skin-tenting, of the skin on your hands or ankles may signal that you are dehydrated."
Other signs you aren't drinking enough water include dark urine, a dry mouth, headaches, and fatigue. It can be tough to get enough fluids throughout the day, but increasing your intake will keep the symptoms of dehydration away.
9. Stomach Gurgling
Whenever you're in a quiet room, you might notice that your body makes some pretty strange noises, including a gurgling sound coming from your gut.
"In the absence of anything being medically wrong, these [...] noises are simply a sign of peristalsis; that is the rhythmic muscular motion that helps your food, fluids, and gas (what contributes most to the noise!) to make their way through your digestive tract," English says. "They can be particularly loud on occasion — especially when the contents of your gut are making a particularly quick movement — and even a bit embarrassing."
You can always have the noises checked out by your doctor, ,just to be sure everything's moving through your gut as it should, English says. But generally these digestive gurgles — as well as the other "weird" goings on of the body listed above — can be a good thing. And are definitely nothing to be ashamed of.