Sunny Side Up

Gratitude & Happiness

Hello, What’s That Weird Noise?

on April 9, 2015

His for Hiccups (Hiccoughs.)

Everyone has done it. Perhaps it was after enjoying a large meal and eating too fast. Maybe you got over excited or nervous and started laughing hysterically without pausing for breath. Is there a reason for that odd little squeaky, suction cup – short of breath sound we make? Often difficult to get rid of and a source of great amusement to our friends, there are many myths and folktales surrounding why we do it.  A list at get-rid-of-hiccups.com shares some of them:

  • Someone who doesn’t like you has complained about you to someone else. The only way to rid yourself of the hiccups is to guess who.
  • It is a sign that you are possessed and now have bad luck.
  • In Slavic and Baltic tales, they happen when the person who has them is being talked about by somebody who is not present.
  • In India, when you hiccup, someone in your family is thinking of you.  In Russia, they are thinking of you and wishing you well.
  • Horseshoes, considered lucky are also believed to help cure hiccups.

The Truth:

Hiccups, are scientifically known as ‘synchronous diaphragmatic flutter’ or singultus, which is Latin for the ‘act of catching one’s breath while sobbing.’ (Wikipedia.) They are caused by an sudden contraction of your diaphragm, the muscle under your lungs that helps you breathe in. The top of your windpipe, known as the glottis closes quickly after the contraction, causing the unusual sound. It is an automatic reflex. One of the possible reasons for hiccuping is to help shift foreign pieces of food stuck in the esophagus, the tube connecting the throat to the stomach. (patient.co.uk)

Other Interesting Facts About Hiccups:

The word hiccup was first used sometime between 1570 and 1580 C.E. Before that, the word ‘hocket’ a Medieval English term was used. (Fun Hiccup Facts.)

One of the first recorded ‘cures’ for hiccups was mentioned by Erixmachus, the physician to Aristophanes, in Plato’s Symposium. (Fun Hiccup Facts.)

The University of Chicago anatomist, Neil Shubin believes that hiccups are triggered by signals in our brain stem, a trait that we inherited from our amphibian ancestors who use the same messages to control their gills. (wired.com – How to Cure Hiccups.)

Want to break a record? You will have to continually hiccup for longer than 68 years. This Guinness Record is held by Charles Osborne from Iowa, USA who hiccuped from 1922 – 1990. (medicalnewstoday.com)

So How Do We Rid Ourselves Of The Embarrassment?

You can try some of these long held believed cures:

  • Breathe into a paper bag, while holding it in your hands.
  • Gargle with ice water.
  • Place some drops of vinegar in your mouth.
  • Place gentle pressure on your nose while you swallow.
  • Take a thin slice of lemon, place it on your tongue and suck on it.
  • Scare yourself.
  • Drink water upside down.
  • Eat a large spoonful of peanut butter.

Or you could watch the video below for the cures that do work.

Enjoy and good luck! Here’s to being hiccup free!

Sources:

Hiccup – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiccup

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/hiccups-hiccoughs

How to get rid of hiccups – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9896.php

Hiccup Facts and Myths – http://www.get-rid-of-hiccups.com/Fun-Hiccup-Facts.html

The Best Cure For Hiccups: Remind Your Brain You’re Not a Fish – – http://www.wired.com/2008/02/evolution-expla/

Hiccup Sound Sample – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hiccupsound.ogg

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