Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Do We Hiccup?

Breathing requires help from the diaphragm, a large muscle between the chest and abdomen. Phrenic nerves control the diaphragm and nerve irritation induces a spasm, forcing short, quick breath's between closing of the epiglottis (a flap that protects the space between the vocal cords). The epiglottis' closing creates the 'hiccup'. A full stomach (food or air), too much spicy food, smoking, alcohol, sudden emotional swings, or sudden temperature shifts can all irritate the phrenic nerves, causing a hiccup.

To stop a hiccup, bite into a lemon, pull on your tongue, or hold your breath ... something Charles Osborne should have done. Osborne is in the Guinness Book of World Records title for Longest Hiccup Attack, hiccuping for 68 years (1922-1990).

This guy could have used the help as well.

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