Why Do We Hiccup And How Can You Stop Them?

holding breath

These bad boys can be extremely annoying and come on at some very inconvenient times, but what exactly triggers them?

Hiccups are an involuntary activity of the diaphragm. The muscles used when you breath are the intercostal muscles located in the spaces between the ribs. Two things occur in rapid succession: first there is a quick and involuntary inhalation of air and second as the muscle contracts, the glottis (space between your vocal cords at the top of the larynx) quickly slams shuts which is what makes the “hic” sound.

Science doesn’t even know what the purpose is and there is no obvious function. This isn’t to say there is no definite function, but more so to say it hasn’t been discovered yet if there is one. Perhaps it is a remnant of some evolutionary function that is no longer needed in humans but still lingers. Maybe it is something that we need for development in our bodies when we’re young (fetuses hiccup in the womb after the 8th week from conception) but isn’t necessary later in life as we get older. Children tend to hiccup more often and in fact the chances to trigger this phenomenon declines with age.

One thing is that it is actually possible to hiccup for longer than most of us think. Imagine hiccuping for an entire day non stop? What about a week or even a month?! I remember a while ago when watching TV, there was a show talking about a man who’s be hiccuping for 68 YEARS straight. This poor man apparently hiccuped around 40 times a minute. Now that is tough.

So what on earth actually causes this series of actions to occur? There are a number of theories on why we hiccup with a few of the leading ideas listed below.

Drinking or eating too fast

This is probably the most common trigger. You are so pumped to gulp down that tasty beverage or food you’ve been thinking about all day that you can’t help but chug the sustenance as if there would be nothing left on earth in 10 seconds. You can also swallow air in addition to the intended “payload” to be delivered into the put of your belly. The stomach becomes distended and irritated. The diaphragm ends up contracting like it does when breathing.

Drinking or eating too much

This is especially true with fatty foods or of course drinking alcohol because you feel the need to consume ridiculous amounts proving to everyone how “awesome” you are. Same as above this is an action that can irritate the diaphragm.

Disturbance to the nerve pathways from the brain

Sometimes hiccups can be brought on by temperature changes or emotional situations. On the other hand this is also the reason why an abrupt shock can sometimes “cure” the attack.

A sign of disease or illness

Normally hiccups are just minor annoyances but persistent hiccups can be a sign of disease. Sources suggest that they can be brought on by many ailments including: brain trauma,  spinal cord integrity, infections, lesions, central nervous system conditions, metabolic disorders, peptic ulcers and even anesthesia.

cover mouth guy

So how can I get rid of these buggers once I start hiccuping?

  • Hold your breath (This is the one I use and it almost always works)
  • Breathing into a paper bag
  • Drink a glass of water quickly
  • Get scared or surprised abruptly

Some odd potential cures I’ve heard but have no idea on the validity of them:

  • Swallow a teaspoon of sugar
  • Sip on some lemon juice
  • Put your fingers in your ears to block the canals
  • Use smelling salts
  • Pull hard on your tongue

Conclusion

Even though you might be excited for that special drink or that meal you’ve been craving, take some time and eat slow! Also don’t overload yourself just because it tastes awesome. Try and do your best to drink in moderation.

Chances are those pesky hiccups are in fact going to show up from time to time and you can’t really avoid it until it’s too late but when they do my top 3 suggestions would be to hold your breath, drink a glass of water fast or if you happen to have one laying around you: breathe into a paper bag. If you’re like me you might not think much of the evil hiccups, but when they kick in it’s usually at the most inopportune time and you’re frantically trying to get rid of them!

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Want To Save Money At The Gas Pump?

gas pump

Did you know there are better times to buy gas than others and ways to actually stretch that dollar a little further?

Yesterday I came across some information from a woman who has worked in the petroleum industry for around 31 years. She was gracious enough as to give some helpful tips on how to get the most out of buying gas.

Her workplace works with special equipment and specific measurements using adaptive and precise tools but out in the wild (your everyday normal gas pump) these exact measurements are quite often a little different than what the pump tells you.

Now if you want to get every last drop that you’re already paying for, then here’s a some tips on buying gas the smart way:

Only buy or fill up your tank in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold

All service stations have their storage tanks buried underneath the ground so the colder the ground is, the more dense the gasoline is. When the temperature rises, gasoline expands so if you purchase your fuel in the afternoon or evening your gallon or litre isn’t exactly what it should be.

In the petroleum industry, the temperature and specific gravity plays a significant role regarding gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products. A simple 1 degree rise in temperature is actually a huge deal in this business because these seemingly small fractions end up adding up to big bucks.

The problem is that the standard service stations we go to do not have temperature compensation at the pumps so that’s why it’s best to gas up early in the a.m.

Do not squeeze the nozzle’s trigger all the way when pumping

You want to avoid holding down the trigger all the way even if it is the fastest way to get back on the road. If you inspect how the handle works, you’ll notice that there are essentially 3 modes: low, medium and high. You should always be pumping on low if you want to be efficient. The reason for this is to minimize the vapors that are created while pumping.

Every hose at the pump has a vapor return. When you pump at the fastest rate some of the liquid that goes into your tank ends up becoming vapor. These vapors are then being sucked up and returned back into the underground storage tank, thus you’re not getting as much value as possible.

Fill up when your tank is HALF FULL

Have you ever noticed that if you’re almost on empty and you put in say $20 worth of gas, that it seems to deplete way faster than it does when you have a full tank? I’m talking about the rate at which it drops, not the obvious full vs. quarter filled tank. The reason is because the more gas you have in your tank, the less air there is occupying the empty space.

Gasoline evaporates much faster than most people think. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof that serves as a zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere thus minimizing the evaporation. Take it into account when you are considering bunded vs non bunded tank.

gas truck

Do not fill up when a gasoline truck is refilling the storage tanks

Chances are that while this truck is pumping, the gasoline is being stirred up. The problem is that if you pump your gas while the service truck is pumping, you can end up getting some of the dirt that is normally settled on the bottom which then goes straight into your vehicles tank.

Conclusion

If you want the most bang for your buck: pump on the slowest trigger setting  in the early morning when your tank is half full and make sure the service truck isn’t there filling up the storage tank!

Our pumps don’t have compensation devices and technology like the trucks and service stations that the gas originally came from. So depending on if you followed the above advice, the measurements can and will be different than the specific gallon or litre that the pump says you’ve popped into your tank. Happy pumping!

And in the end: we recommend you to check this chemical pump manufacturer and New York construction injury lawyer to assist you in getting a fall injury compensation.

Hope you liked this post! Please feel free to like, share, tweet and comment. If you want to discuss your favorite interests and make money while doing it then click here.

I write about anything and everything that crosses my path and end up making money from it. Check out this video to find out how. Click here to watch the video.

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