Health & Wellness

5 embarrassing medical questions answered

All of us can feel a little bit shy when we're chatting with the doctor in the white coat. Certain topics seem taboo — even to bring up with your lifelong physician who knows most of your medical history.

That's why we've enlisted NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar to answer those questions you've always wondered about, but were too embarrassed to ask!

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From sweat to nose-blowing, your embarrassing medical questions answered

Play Video - 2:59

From sweat to nose-blowing, your embarrassing medical questions answered

Play Video - 2:59

1. Is there a right way to blow your nose?

Kind of — and Jenna Bush Hager admitted she was doing it wrong. If you don't feel any pressure in your sinuses before you blow your nose, but you do afterward, you are blowing too hard.

Research has found that a typical nose blow can create 10 times as much pressure as sneezing or coughing. The more pressure you apply to your nose, the more likely it is that some mucus will shoot into inflamed and narrowed passageways of your sinuses — thus spreading the infection. Exactly what you don't want.

RELATED: Take it easy when you blow — and other flu remedies

Instead, before blowing your nose, use a saline spray or mist. Give it a minute to settle into your nose and then blow, gently, one nostril at a time. Over-the-counter nasal decongestants or steaming can help relieve symptoms, while anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen can relieve swelling and pain.

2. Why do women always seem colder than men?

There's some biology behind this one: Women conserve more heat around their core organs, so less heat is circulating throughout their bodies. And while women's core temperatures are higher than men, they're more sensitive to colder temperatures, since they're used to being warm.

RELATED: Office air conditioning is too cold, women think, and science says they're right

Finally, women's body temperatures fluctuate throughout the month because of the change in their hormone levels. Depending on where they are in their cycles, they could be more sensitive to cold temperatures than usual.

3. Why does holding your breath help with hiccups?

We all get the hiccups sometimes — but usually there's no clear trigger. Most home remedies are based on raising the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, like holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag. They can work, but researchers don't really understand why.

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How to get rid of the hiccups (and other easy life hacks)

Play Video - 0:52

How to get rid of the hiccups (and other easy life hacks)

Play Video - 0:52

4. What makes my stomach growl?

A growling stomach means you're hungry, right? Well, contrary to popular belief, it can happen any time, whether you're hungry or full.

The growling doesn't come from the stomach, but from your small intestines. For your stomach to growl three things need to happen: the muscles of the intestine need to be moving the food through, you need liquid in your stomach and gas, too (from air that you swallow as well as bacteria). Most of the sounds you hear are due to normal digestion, where the walls of your intestines contract and squeeze the food through your intestines so it can be digested.

RELATED: Growling belly? Why your stomach rumbles and how to stop it

5. What causes excessive sweating?

Up to 3 percent of Americans deal with this issue — it's referred to as hyperhidrosis, and can affect your entire body or just some areas like the palms, underarms or face. It happens when the nerves responsible for triggering your sweat glands become overactive and call for more perspiration — even though you don't need it. Sometimes, it can be caused by food and medications, as well as some underlying medical conditions.

Dermatologists are generally the best doctors for treating excessive sweating that's not controlled by over-the-counter products. They are usually more familiar with hyperhidrosis treatment, especially when sweating is severe.

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