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Julia Bähr

editor in the features section.

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sixty-Eight years. As long as the American Charles Osborne hiccup had, initially quite quickly, after a few years of slow, namely, twenty Times a Minute. It is estimated that he hickste in his life 430 million Times. Oddly enough, the hiccups disappeared in 1991, a year before Osborne at the age of ninety-seven years, died. Since he was already in the Guinness book of records with his involuntary Hickserei. When you think of it, a whole life with hiccups, one of the short stages more fun. But annoying you are. What the body thinks of the matter?

Brigitte Mayinger is the chief doctor of the Munich-based Helios-clinic and met again and again, patients have long-lasting hiccups. She knows with everything that has to do with digestion, and may play a role in the hiccup. The phenomenon is not researched, because it is considered a disease. Brigitte Mayinger says: “It is already very complex. Stress, for example, is a trigger – but really you can’t explain that, too.“

A couple of other triggers you can understand better, but you have to look at precisely what happens during a hiccup. “Hiccup is when the diaphragm moves involuntarily and milliseconds later, the Glottis closes. As a result, the noise is created,“ explains Brigitte Mayinger. The diaphragm is the muscle between the chest and abdomen. The Glottis is located at the upper end of the trachea, including the vocal cords, with the aid of which we speak and sing, among other things. The Glottis can also form something like a cap for the lungs, so that no liquid inside the device. You can try it out for yourself: If you drink a glass of water and breathing stops breathing briefly during Swallowing. At this Moment, namely, the water has to be transported somehow through the trachea into the esophagus, and if the air tube is open, it cannot be done. So, the Glottis closes, and meanwhile, we are not able to breathe.

Why now, of all things, diaphragm and Glottis play together, crazy apart from each other, but pretty far, can be explained: they are connected by important nerves. The Vagus nerve comes from the brain and goes through the chest and the diaphragm to the stomach. If he discovers there is a mistake somewhere, it sends back a response command. For example: hiccup, now! Then there is a separate nerve for the diaphragm, the phrenic nerve, exciting, and indicates that Tense you. And here we go.

Sometimes the Vagus nerve is right, and there’s something wrong actually. These patients have chronic hiccups, so at least two days, and after you have really tried everything, so, for example, on the head of standing water have been drinking, why don’t you go to a doctor. “The most common cause is chronic Reflux, which we see several times in the year,” says Brigitte Mayinger. Reflux means that stomach acid runs up into the esophagus. When adults complain about heartburn, is often Reflux is the cause.

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But there are also a number of other possibilities. In the case of Charles Osborne, the man with the decades-long hiccups, had burst a vein in the brain, which appealed to then, apparently, permanently the nerve and the Alarm triggered. A Tumor can press on the nerve. But those are really rare cases.