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We answer your questions about… your body!

 

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We've been getting so many great questions through the Question Machine! Phew! You're really interested in a lot of things. We thought we'd group some of the questions together and answer them in a big bunch. So here are your questions about... your body!

Question 1

Rikkilynn asks why there is salt in your tears - your body is made up of more than 60 per cent water full of salt ions called electrolutes so when you cry your tears are salty

You've probably tasted a little bit of salt in your tears when you've had a really good cry. Who hasn't? But did you know that this salty water solution also contains a lot of other important vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are really important for keeping your eyes working normally? Our tears also help keep the surface of our eyes clean and protect them from damage. Pretty amazing for a little bit of water!


Question 2

Peter asks what blood type means - when you give blood it is marked with a specific blood type like AB and this means it has antigens other blood types may not have

Every year, people all over Canada need blood transfusions for all sorts of reasons like accidents or medical treatments. It's important that the blood they get matches their own blood type so that it won't be rejected or cause illness. There are four main blood types, based on the antigens each type has, along with a positive or negative factor:

  • Type A negative or positive (A positive is one of the two most common blood types)
  • Type B negative or positive
  • Type O negative or positive (O positive is also one of the two most common blood types)
  • Type AB negative or positive

Question 3

Shayne asks why it hurts when a bee stings you - when a bee stings you it releases a chemical called melittin that causes a burning feeling and it hurts

The bee's stinger has a little barbed end on it. When the bee flies off, the stinger stays stuck in your skin. The longer it stays in your skin, the more melittin is released, making your skin burn for up to a minute. If you're not allergic to bee stings, your immune system will flush out the melittin, leaving just a bump and redness.


Question 4

Katey asks what are the mumps - mumps is a virus that spreads through saliva that is very contagious but can be prevented by vaccination

Today, outbreaks of mumps are rare because we have vaccines to prevent them. If you do get the mumps, the most noticeable sign is that your parotid glands — these near the back of your cheeks, near your ear and your jaw — get swollen, so it looks like your cheeks are full. Since mumps is caused by a virus, it can't be treated with medicine. It's up to your body's immune system to clear the infection up.

Interested about how vaccinations work? Check out Everything You Need to Know About the Flu Shot!


Want more answers? We've got 'em!

 


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