Nugget of Knowledge: Hiccups and cures

Daybreak

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Do animals get the hiccups?

Yes, they do.

In a hiccup, your diaphragm suddenly contracts, pushing air up into lungs so quickly that the epiglottis in the throat shuts. All mammals have this breathing system and can get the hiccups.

Kittens often get hiccups, although they don’t make much noise, while adult cats and dogs sometimes do if they eat too fast.

Horses get loud hiccups, and we’ve filmed all sorts of animals hiccuping including squirrels, otters, and even a porcupine.

How can humans cure them?

A spoonful of sugar is a popular hiccups cure.

Take a teaspoonful of vinegar — its sour taste could stop a hiccup in its tracks.

A classic hiccups cure involves eating a big spoonful of peanut butter. That can interrupt your breathing patterns.

Sip hot sauce: the heat and burn are distracting enough to turn your body’s focus on the burn, instead of the hiccups.

Eat some powdered chocolate drink mix right off the spoon, or breathe slowly and deeply into a small paper bag. Stop if you feel light-headed.

And, place a single layer of a paper towel over the top of a glass, then drink through the towel. You’ll have to “pull” harder with your diaphragm, ending its spasms.

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