One of the greatest mysteries of human biology, hiccups are shrouded in superstitions and myths. Creeping up on you when you least expect it, hiccups can be a nuisance at times.
Where do hiccups come from? Are they dangerous? Most answers out there are hogwash, and it’s time to face it.
Join us as we debunk some falsehoods about the humble hiccup.
1. Someone is thinking of you when you hiccup
Maybe grandma told you this as a kid and it stuck with you. Maybe you heard it from a friend. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not true!
Now, hear it from science. There is no direct relationship between someone else’ thoughts and your hiccups. When the diaphragm gets disturbed, it creates erratic noise that results in hiccups. This contraction creates a direct and brief closure of the vocal cords, which produces the characteristic sound of a hiccup.
In fact, hiccups can be caused by many reasons and are hard to pinpoint. Your hiccups may be due to eating or drinking too quickly, alcohol consumption, overeating and even stress.
The next time you start hiccuping, there’s no need to ponder over who might be thinking of you!
2. Cure hiccups by holding your breath
This is one of the many home remedies out there that promises to cure your hiccups. Next to drinking water and getting scared, they actually make up a list of actions that don’t help with hiccups. To be honest, hiccups only lasts for a few minutes anyway.
While uncomfortable, it sure isn’t worth your time trying to actively make it go away. Time is the best cure for hiccups.
Bear with it for a while, and it will soon pass. However, if your hiccups persist for a day or two, consider consulting a certified doctor about it.
How scary will it be if you were to faint while trying to cure your hiccups anyway?
3. Some people are immune to hiccups
No need to get jealous of those who never hiccup: these people don’t exist!
Everyone, and we mean EVERYone, gets hiccups.
If you think you are the exception, think again! Even fetuses still inside the womb gets hiccups too, so you probably did as well.
Observe your pets closely, and you may just be able to catch them hiccupping. Cats, dogs, and any mammal with an evolved respiratory system have the ability to hiccup, other than humans.
4. Your heart skips a beat when you hiccup
Now, where did this come from?
Do not let this myth scare you! Your heartbeat is totally independent of your hiccupping.
An irregularity in the rhythm of your heartbeat is dangerous and could be an indication of a more severe health condition.
But you can bet that they are not caused by hiccups for that matter.
There are studies that show a very minor fluctuation in the heartbeat rhythm when we hiccup, but is so slight that it was often overlooked.
What hiccup myths have you been believing all the while? For now, science has only given us the answers to the technical aspect of how hiccups work. The rest remains to be uncovered. As long as you are in good health, hiccups will remain as a quirk of the human anatomy and nothing to be concerned about.