'Is it bad to pee in the shower?': 10 awkward questions
THERE'S a 99.99999 per cent chance you've often wondered why your body does weird things. For example, why do you sweat so much when you're nervous? Or what happens when you hold your pee in?
It's also extremely likely that you've "accidentally" released your bladder a bit while in the shower. Yes, don't feel guilty, we've secretly all been there, too.
But WHY does our body do these weird things, and what happens to it when we put it through these icky situations?
Well, we've granted you with your wish, and have had these questions answered for you. #noshame
1. Does it matter if I hold in pee?
If you do this a lot, you'll weaken your bladder muscle, which can stop it from emptying properly and increase your risk of urinary tract infection, urologists warn.
According to scientists in Taiwan, this also places stress on your heart - an excessively full bladder raises your heart rate by up to nine beats per minute and reduces blood flow to your heart by 19 per cent, which can be risky for those with cardiovascular issues.
2. What makes my feet smell?
"Sweat and bacteria," Professor Karl Ng of Sydney North Neurology & Neurophysiology, says.
"Bacteria break down amino acids in sweat, which creates odour. The type of bacteria you have determines the odour."
Washing daily with soap helps, as does spraying your feet with antiperspirant, Ng says. He adds that it's also worth checking if you have an infection such as athlete's foot.
3. Why do I sweat if I'm nervous?
"No-one knows exactly," Ng says of this condition that can make you feel as if your body is betraying you.
"However, the stress response is controlled by the limbic system of the brain, which is the ancient part, so there might be an evolutionary advantage, perhaps cooling the body quicker so you can run or fight."
Working on the brain's stress response with cognitive behavioural therapy or with medication can help, Ng adds.
4. Is gum disease catching?
"It can be," dentist Dr Jason Pang of Sydney's Cosmic Smile Laser Dental says.
"The bacteria that cause gum disease can easily be transmitted via saliva during kissing."
In fact, when researchers at the University of Southern California in the US analysed couples, they found that 36 per cent of them both tested positive for gum-disease-causing bacteria. This doesn't mean you'll get symptoms, though.
"Not everyone who carries the bacteria has the inflammatory reaction to it that leads to gum disease," Pang says.
Good oral hygiene, from both of you, further reduces your risk
5. Does my social smoking matter?
"Absolutely," Dr Sarah White, director of Quit Victoria, says.
"Every time you smoke, your blood thickens and the blood vessels narrow, which increases your immediate risk of heart attack."
The good news is, if you only smoke, say, once a month with a particular friend, you don't have a nicotine addiction. Change what triggers you to smoke by, for example, going somewhere with that friend where you can't smoke and you can break the habit.
6. Why do I get spots on my bum?
Spots form when dead skin cells and oil clog the pores, and bacteria collects within them.
"Spots on your back and bum occur because you don't clear dead skin cells as readily there," Laura Tsun, a dermal therapist at Sydney's Pure Aesthetics, says.
Use a cleanser containing salicylic acid, which stimulates more rapid cell renewal.
7. Is it bad to pee in the shower?
Not really as urine contains low levels of bacteria - and it's good for the environment.
According to data from the UK's University of East Anglia, if all Brits peed during their morning shower instead of using the loo and flushing, it would save 720 million litres of water a year!
8. Can I use the five second rule?
No, according to a recent study by Rutgers University in the US. It found that bacteria can transfer to food in as little as one second, particularly wet foods like fruit.
The surface it lands on also matters - less germs attach to food dropped on carpet than on tiles.
9. Can I sneeze with my eyes open?
"The urge to close your eyes is an unconscious reflex, likely to stop whatever irritant has triggered the sneeze entering the eyes," Sophie Koh of Optometry Australia says.
And no, your eyeballs won't pop out if you sneeze with your lids open as they're secured by muscles and eye sockets.
However, doctors in the UK recently reported a case of a man who ruptured his throat by holding his nose and closing his mouth during a sneeze.
10. Is my poo normal?
The Bristol Stool Scale created by UK scientists says the ideal poo is like a smooth sausage and easy to pass.
"Pellet-like stools indicate constipation," nutritionist Despina Kamper says.
"More water and fibre in the diet will help."
A liquid stool can be a sign of food poisoning or, if it happens regularly, could be due to a condition such as irritable bowel syndrome.
For more on this topic, this is who to call when you have a health-related topic. Plus, these are the answers to the most common questions pharmacists get asked.