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Excuse me! What these 5 body noises mean — and when to call the doc

Our bodies make noise all the time, but some sounds may be worth talking to a doctor about.
/ Source: TODAY

Bodies! We've all got one, and it makes a lot of noises. Some of them are good, and some are signals of potential trouble. As Dr. Natalie Azar explained on TODAY Monday, five noises in particular may be worth a second listen, and possibly a trip to the doctor.

1. Stomach rumbling

Rumbling or gurgling that seems to come from your belly is actually the sound of air and fluid as they're moved by muscles through the digestive tract. If you experience the noise on an empty stomach, it could mean your gut is sweeping out leftover debris.

Call a doctor? Only if you begin experiencing severe pain, cramping or nausea along with the rumbling, or if there's blood in your stool.

2. Joints cracking

Joints popping and cracking are usually harmless; pressure in a healthy joint can change and form gas bubbles that pop, creating a cracking sound. If your joint pops and there's no pain, don't worry about it.

Call a doctor? If the pop produces pain, swelling or a grinding sensation.


3. Hiccups

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm (the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing). Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, which produces the characteristic "hic" sound.

Call a doctor? If you've got hiccups that last more than 48 hours. Long-term hiccups can indicate more serious factors, like nervous system disorders.

4. Burping

Belching is the release of air from the stomach and is usually caused by swallowing air while eating or drinking too fast. Other causes of burping include nervous habits or other medical conditions, such as an ulcer or a gallbladder problem.

Call a doctor? Chronic belching may be related to inflammation of the stomach lining or to an infection with the bacteria responsible for some stomach ulcers. A burning chest pain after a belch is also symptomatic of a peptic ulcer and should be checked out by a physician.

MORE: Generation deaf: Why you really need to turn the music down now

5. Ringing in your ears

Ringing in one or both ears is known as tinnitus, often caused by inner ear cell damage. When the tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear become bent or broken, they can "leak" random electrical impulses to your brain, causing a phantom sound.

Call a doctor? If the ringing sound lasts more than two days or is accompanied by pain or vertigo, see a doctor for tests to rule out infection.

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