Hic-c-ups!

Hiccups are a funny one. We know what they are, we know what they do to our bodies, and for the most part, we know how to get rid of them. But we can’t say for sure where they came from, or what they actually do in the body.

What is a hiccup, anyway?

A hiccup is a kind of forced intake of breath, caused by muscle spasms in your chest and throat. There are over 100 causes for hiccups, but the most common is irritation of the stomach or the oesophagus – the food tube that leads to it. The “hic” noise comes when the breath is cut off by the snapping shut of your glottis – which is like a fleshy lid or trapdoor that separates the food and air tubes in your throat.

The most common causes of short-term hiccups include:

  • overeating
  • eating spicy food
  • consuming alcohol
  • drinking carbonated beverages, such as sodas
  • consuming very hot or very cold foods
  • a sudden change in air temperature
  • excitement or emotional stress
  • aerophagia (swallowing too much air)

These are the top (stop) five:

  • Have a tablespoon of sugar.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Drink one cup of water.
  • Forget the memory of having hiccups.
  • Get someone to scare you out of nowhere. ( it won’t work if you know that they are going to do it)

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