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How Do You Stop Hiccups?

May 2006

Your Question

How do you stop hic-ups?

Our Response

As you probably already know, it is very difficult, under normal circumstances, to stop hiccups.

Folklore is full of home remedies for this uncomfortable condition, including:

  • Be horribly frightened
  • Stand on your head and sing the national anthem (preferably Canada's)
  • Eat a bag of sugar without drinking anything
  • Get punched in the stomach by a professional wrestler
  • Hold your breath until you see a tunnel with a light at the other end.

Unfortunately, science has not been able to verify that any of these work. To date, the only scientifically validated cures for hiccups are:

  • Fill your lungs with a breathable liquid and then have it forcefully extracted
  • Exhale sharply until your lungs are empty of air (works only in a zero-gravity environment)
  • Walk to another continent barefoot with your eyes closed
  • Die.

There is also an inpatient surgical procedure that has shown to be successful in more than 30% of cases.


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