The human body is incredible in its complexity and variation — out of 7.5 billion people on earth, no two are exactly alike.
While there are countless aspects of the human body to marvel at, the reality is there may also be days when you take a good, hard look at your body and wonder, What the hell are you doing to me?!
Our bodies aren’t perfect, and they don’t always function the way we want them to. On Monday, Reddit user Menfo posted a question to r/AskReddit that asked, “What is, in your opinion, the biggest flaw of the human body?”
The answers ranged from comical to serious to informative, with over 19,000 people chiming in to explain how easily and frequently the human body can mess up, causing serious symptoms and damage.
When you live with any sort of health condition, be it chronic illness, mental illness, disability or cancer, feeling like your body is “flawed” may ring especially true. But even if your body isn’t the epitome of health, that does not mean you are “flawed,” “messed up” or “broken.” As Lisa Prins, a Mighty contributor who lives with chronic illness, wrote, “I’m not ‘defective.’ I’m not half of a person. I’m not less than I would be if I had a perfectly healthy body. I’m more.’”
Our bodies may malfunction and the effects of that can be frustrating, scary and serious. Sometimes, though, it can also be therapeutic to laugh together about the ridiculous things our bodies do.
To learn more about the bodily “flaws” people with health conditions may struggle with, we posed the same question to our Mighty community and asked them to share their experiences. We invite you to join the discussion by commenting here, and tell us what you think is the human body’s biggest flaw. It can be funny or serious!
Below we’ve compiled some of the most relatable responses from Reddit. Let us know which one(s) you most agree with in the comments below!
- “Pretty much any autoimmune disease. The body can literally kill itself trying to protect itself.” — Shipwreck_Kelly
- “Your cochlea and your vestibular organs do not have backup blood supplies, so if you lose one to a stroke, you essentially lose hearing or balance function. Also how the cochlear hair cells do not regenerate with damage or loss, resulting in hearing loss.” — Subtitles_Required
- “The fact that somehow my biggest fear in the world can be a natural body function like vomiting. You’d think your body would not be scared of itself but here I am with emetophobia” — windrunner97
- “Inability to feel when something is amiss with an internal organ until it’s too late. A close friend just got diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, and had no symptoms at all until eight weeks ago. Meanwhile, let me bump my toe against some furniture and have my nerves scream at me ‘aargh something is WRONG we were STRUCK by an OBJECT we need ATTENTION over here get an ICE PACK for lands sakes are you TRYING to get killed?!!’” — thefuzzybunny1
- “Thyroid gland. One organ for producing a lot of hormonal responses is definitely a design flaw. Particularly when it is susceptible to either over or under activity.” — Sparxify
- “I have lupus and Crohn’s disease and I tell people that my immune system is a bunch of sugar-hyped 3-year-olds trying to put away the dishes. My god, they try so hard but they fucking break EVERYTHING.” — smellthecolor9
- “Body: oh fuck a peanut, oh god fucking shit shut it down, The peanut Can kill us
also Body: If I kill myself first, then the peanut can’t kill me!” — snp3rk
- “There are many. But, notably to me is how easily damaged the Knee joints and the Spine are. They next to impossible completely repair. Once damage they are never really right again.” — gereblueeyes
- “That something as important as the brain can stop functioning properly because of chemical imbalances.” — ShredderNL
- “Cancer. How are your cells gonna go awol and attack every other cell? What did you do for your body to betray you?” — ggracefull
- “Keeping the appendix around. What benefits does it give? None! How about drawbacks? It might kill you!” — striped_frog
- “Periods. Good God. Once a month my breasts swell, become incredibly painful even when I’m sitting down, my feet ache, I get cramps that don’t feel like any other pain I’ve ever had, if I exercise I chafe, oh and did I mention the gallons of blood coming out of my vagina? I’d laugh if it wasn’t so damn annoying, and then people say ‘just get on the pill!’ as if bleeding is the only of the problems.” — honestkodaline
- “Seasonal allergies. We’ve existed on this world for a long time and yet I still can’t step outside without my body attacking itself because of pollen. How have we not fixed this yet? The other major one would be pain in general. I understand its importance to prevent further injury, but if you get a cut, you should be able to look at it, acknowledge it, and realize it poses no further harm. From there our brain should disregard the pain signals.” — The_Potato_Whisperer
- “Our teeth decay when we use them but can survive millions of years when we are dead. That annoys me to no end.” — Pakit4573
- “The pain and complications associated with giving birth. Giraffes can birth a whole tiny giraffe hooves and all and go about their day, yet women are still enduring massive amounts of pain (and/or death) during childbirth. It seems evolutionarily unproductive.” — pikaqueen1997
- “The Brain. If you don’t treat it right; it can fuck you up. Having you believing you need something when you know it’s bad for you. Make you think horrible things and sometimes do horrible things. If you don’t feed it positive information; you can grow up believing in evil, or ignorant things. And it controls everything.” — BuckTribe
- “The fact we have to spend more than a third of our time on the Earth asleep.” — JasonBourne08
- “How fragile our body is. I’d kill to have a thicker skin and not screaming out loud when I barefootedly step on a small pointy pebble.” — iammukherjee94
- “Having a SINUS CAVITY. I would rather not have a cavern to fill with mucus. Olfactory receptors are overrated anyway.” — BossJohn
- “Pregnancy and birth. Yes, it can literally wreck, tear and rupture things that should never be wrecked, torn or ruptured. But then there’s the mental side as well. Hormonal mood swings and all that but, oh! Post partum depression! What in the fuck is the point of that? Here’s the incredible little life form you created over the past nine months, now hate it and hate your life and let it all go to shit.” — vicsj
- “The fact that we don’t have separate orifices for breathing and eating. That guarantees that a percentage of us will choke and die on our food.” — _kingofthelosers
- “Peeing a little bit when you sneeze or cough. Wtf, nature?” — veralynnwildfire
- “Ectopic Pregnancy. Ovaries are ovulatin and doing their things. Eggs and what not. An egg decides enough is enough, and with the help of a hormone surge, wants out of that shit. Bigger and better things. So the egg literally punches out, and is supposed to go straight into the Fallopian tubes, get fertilized while inside the tubes, and then plant in the uterus. You would THINK that the entrance of the Fallopian tubes would connect right to the ovary? Nah. The opening of the Fallopian tube has these little hairs (fimbriae) that are like wacky inflatable tube men in front of sketchy used car lots, and kind of guide the egg into the Fallopian tube. Sometimes, the eggs don’t feel like it going, and they venture off. And if fertilized, it’s considered an ectopic pregnancy. It can plant anywhere in the abdominal cavity at that point. Most of the time, it will die because it has to plant in a well vascularized region to be viable. Sometimes, it finds a good, bloody spot, and starts growing there. At that point it’s essentially a tumor, and of it can eat enough into a blood vessel, in can rupture and bleed like shit. You would think that millions of years of evolution would create a Fallopian tube that opens up right to the ovary, but that’s not the case.” — SomeLettuce8
- “Sit all day at work? Your back hurts. Constantly on your feet? Your back hurts. Sleep wrong? Your back hurts.” — kdinreallife
- “Dependence on vision and how losing it can drastically alter your life. As a neurologist, I’m never shocked when someone loses their vision. The conditions needed for vision are incredibly sensitive. There are so many factors. Just one is the way the retinal nerve fiber layer is structured. It’s a wonder that there isn’t more blindness.” — neuro_nerd220
- “That thing our brains do where we walk into a room only to instantly forget why we went in there in the first place.” — pops992
If you struggle with feeling like your body is “flawed” due to your illness or disability, you’re not alone. Check out the following stories from our Mighty community about life with a “malfunctioning” body:
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Author: Paige Wyant