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Top 5 Human Body Myths

By Rachel Ross

What happens when you swallow gum? Does it stay in your stomach for years? What happens when you crack your knuckles? Do I get arthritis? These are all questions that are being asked for generations, on whether some human body myths are true or not. Here are top five most believed human body myths.

  1. When you swallow gum, it takes seven years for your body to digest.

It is true that there is a “rubber-like” material made into the gum. But Rodger Little,  a gastroenterologist at the Duke University School of Medicine, said that “the human body is capable of passing quarters through. Swallowing a piece of gum is the same logic.”

  1. Your heart stops when you sneeze.

If your heart stopped if you were to sneeze three times in a row, you could probably knock yourself unconscious or worse, which is a perfect example of why this statement is false. According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, “When you sneeze, the intrathoracic pressure in your body momentarily increases. This will decrease the blood flow back to the heart. The heart compensates for this by changing its regular heartbeat momentarily to adjust.”

  1. You have five senses.

Saying we have five senses is underestimated. We have so many senses that scientists can’t even count them all. We many other senses, according to Kristin Houser of Futurism, including “equilibrioception (sense of balance), thermoception (sense of temperature), nociception (sense of pain), and kinaesthesia (sense of movement).”

  1. You should never wake a sleepwalker.

Nobody knows for sure what causes someone to sleepwalk, but there has always been a rumor to never wake a sleepwalking person because it could send them into a permanent state of insanity. That’s false. Sleepwalkers are known for hurting themselves while sleepwalking so waking them up would be doing them a favor.

  1. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.  

When you crack your knuckles, in reality, you’re not doing anything harmful. The crack you hear is the nitrogen bubbles popping in between your joints. It could also be your tendons snapping back over tissues. Neither is harmful, but you could risk losing grip strength and having hand swelling, according to Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic physician.

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