Tuesday, April 07, 2009

DYK - A Case of Singultus

I hate hiccups. For some reason I only seem to get them right before I go to bed, and those ridiculous, painful convulsions keep me up hours past when I wanted to crash for the night. I have often wondered what exactly was happening inside my body when I hiccupped, so I did the research and am here to share that information with you.

Singultus is the technical term for hiccups, and it occurs when your diaphragm (the muscle under your lungs that helps you inflate and deflat them) gets irritated and forces rapid intakes of air. Those intakes happen so quickly that your throat makes a little noise.

The cause of these little bastards is one of three things: you've either got an upset stomach, out-of-whack gastric temperature (whatever that is), or you've eaten/drank too much too quickly.

Most hiccups only last for a few minutes, but they can go on and on, sometimes lasting for days. And as it turns out, a lot of those old homemade cures can actually help--holding your breath, drinking from the far side of the glass, swallowing a spoonful of sugar--it's all supposed get rid of hiccups.

The moral, of course, is to eat slowly and in moderation. Or none of this matters and hiccups are just occasionally unavoidable. Glad I could be of assistance.

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