RE: What are hiccups and why do we get them?

In response to prevous article about hiccup:
There’s an explanation in New Scientist published recently. You can find it here:

Hi, and welcome to the SDMB! :smiley:

So, hiccups are just an expression of our Inner Tadpole? Cool. :cool:

Excuse me, I think my hind legs are appearing, gotta go…

Well, dang, this is too funny: I was doing my volunteer desk shift at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, and reading the current issue of Herb Quarterly. (It’s kinda slow being that cold time) In the current issue of that mag, not online, I looked, there is an article on curing hiccups. I filed the info in my mind, thinking it would come up on the SD. So, now, here it is! FYI, it had some good reasons for the folk cures making sense, but the maim one that stood out was: a tablespoon of plain sugar taken. According to that article, it worked overwhelmingly well in an MD study too. Sorry that the article isn’t available online.

In a related manner; I am a wildlife rehabilitator, and went to a conference last weekend. I do well with baby cottontail rabbits, notorious for their difficulty in human raising. They are particularly susceptible to diaphragm spasms in nursing(ie, hiccups, makes sense according to the linked article) and will die on ya pretty quick, mighty depressing. A veterinarian has passed on the trick of rocking the baby bunny rhythmically in your hands; that seems to break the diaphragm spasm. It appears to work, and , for me & my bunnies, will be a lifesaver. Dunno how that relates to human hiccups.

Odd how ol’ real life spills out here, and vice versa…

So if a spoonful of sugar is the medicine, do you have to take it with another spoonful of sugar to help it go down?

I’m no MD, but always seemed simpler to me. Since hiccups arise chiefly when food slows down en route down, which from an evolutionary/functional vantage is a bad thing, they arise as a response to get it going again, either directly or by forcing you to take artificial measures like drinking – which would be why the latter is generally in my experience the hands-down most effective cure, on which everything else is a better or worse variation. Seems much cheaper than med school to study it out anyway.

I can say that this has never happened to me. So far as I can tell, hiccups (in their modern form, at least) have nothing whatsoever to do with food or eating. And even if they did, what’s so bad about food going down slowly?

Getting stuck half-way.