Skip to content

Embarrassing Body Problem No. 2: Burps, Hiccups, and Growls continued...

What can you do about it? The No. 1 defense is to cut down on gassy foods in the hours previous to when you want to be at your best. These include cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, beans, and for some folks, dairy products and fried foods.

"Only you know which foods are gassy for you, and it can be slightly different for everyone," Siegel tells WebMD. If your tummy growls when you're hungry, then eating light, bland meals before going out is a good defense, he says.

Drinking more water also helps, Siegel says. "The GI tract is more likely to spasm when it's dry, so keeping well hydrated reduces the likelihood of hiccups, burps, and nervous coughs."

Daguilh suggests limiting alcohol: "In some folks [it] can increase burps, belches and hiccups," she says.

Embarrassing Body Problem No. 3: Excessive Sweating

As the saying goes, "Never let 'em see you sweat." But wouldn't you know it, just when you want to project an image of cool confidence, "body central" has other ideas.

"There are some people who actually have a problem with overactive sweat glands, but for the most part, excessive sweating that occurs only in certain situations is all about stress," says Siegel.

A by-product of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, Siegel says nervous sweating is a reflection of sympathetic nerve discharge -- a manifestation of the fight-or-flight response that kicks in when we're anxious.

The way to prevent it, he says, is to condition ourselves ahead of time for facing stressful situations. "It's a matter of brain retraining. Gradually expose yourself to the nervous situation, and eventually your body won't respond as if you're in danger."

An easier way to prevent excessive sweating is simply to try an antiperspirant deodorant, Siegel says.

Avoiding coffee, tea, chocolate, or any food high in caffeine, as well as any hot, spicy foods can also help, Daguilh says.

"They increase heart rate and respiration, which can also increase sweating, so avoid them if you know you will be facing a stressful situation."

One more cool tip: Keep a glass of ice water handy, and if possible hold it against your wrists to help control sweating, Sadock tells WebMD.

"It's also perfectly OK to carry a hankie and dab the perspiration from your face, or wipe your hands," she says.

Embarrassing Body Problem No. 4: Cotton Mouth and Yawning

You've connected online with the one who could be your soul mate, and now you're really looking forward to a meeting in person. But by the time you arrive at the restaurant or coffee shop you can feel the dryness growing in your mouth. In fact, it's so dry you can hardly speak.

Overactive Bladder Poll

How much bother is your OAB?

View Results