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Hiccup Relief

Via CNN:

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — She sipped pickle juice, held her breath, breathed into a bag, even went to a neurologist, but for more than five weeks nothing would stop a 15-year-old girl’s rapid hiccups — until they finally just stopped on their own.

After trying countless remedies and attracting national media attention, Jennifer Mee said her hiccups suddenly stopped around 5 p.m. Wednesday. No one is certain why.

That had to suck. I so hate it when I get the hiccups, but this poor girl went five whole weeks hiccuping about 50 times a minute, according to the article.

Also according to the article, the National Institutes of Health says that hiccups can start for all sorts of reasons, or for no reason at all.

Wikipedia has some further interesting information about hiccups.

A hiccup or hiccough (normally pronounced “HICK-up” (IPA: [ˈhɪ.kəp]) regardless of spelling) is an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm; typically this repeats several times a minute. The sudden rush of air into the lungs causes the glottis to close, creating the “hic” listen noise. A bout of hiccups generally resolves itself without intervention, although many home remedies are in circulation that claim to shorten the duration, and medication is occasionally necessary. By extension, the term “hiccup” is also used to describe a small and unrepeated aberration in an otherwise consistent pattern. The medical term is singultus.

While many cases develop spontaneously, hiccups are known to develop often in specific situations, such as eating too quickly, taking a cold drink while eating a hot meal, eating very hot or spicy food, laughing vigorously or coughing, drinking an alcoholic beverage to excess, or electrolyte imbalance. Hiccups may be caused by pressure to the phrenic nerve by other anatomical structures, or rarely by tumors and certain kidney disease. It is reported that 30% of chemotherapy patients suffer singultus as a side effect of treatment. (American Cancer Society)

As for all those home remedies like drinking a glass of water or breathing into a bag? I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I have yet to find one that works.

Anyway, just an interesting little tidbit of news I saw this morning, and thought I’d share.

(*hiccup*)

Filed under: Biology, Education, Science

One Response

  1. Amanda says:

    There’s one “home remedy” that works for me nearly every time. Take a deep breath and hold it, counting to 10. Then, before breathing out, swallow. The exhale slowly.

    Works nearly every time.

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