It seems that there is a merciful and kind God. Sugar cures hiccups, and with a surprising degree of success. So how is it that the hiccups, which have a dubious list of home remedies as long as my arm, can be cured with something so readily available, cheap and not to mention delicious? Well it all comes down to the way that the brain works.
Everyone has had a case of annoying hiccups. In most cases they only last for less than an hour, and are nothing more than an annoyance. Although they can provide an observer with simple moments of levity. However sometimes the a case of hiccups can last a little bit longer than you would like, and more drastic measures are needed to cure them. You could try an old wives tale, like drinking water, holding your breath, or even drinking water upside down. Maybe even a frightful surprise can be the solution that you are looking for. But why do any of these when there is a more guaranteed solution, and one which is a pleasure to perform. That is of course sugar, which cures hiccups.
Sugar cures hiccups, but how?
To find out how sugar cures hiccups, we need to understand what causes them, and why we have them. The actual reason why we have hiccups is still unknown. Experts don’t know why the body developed the involuntary reflex. But how they happen is a different story.
They are caused by a spasm in the diaphragm, which is the muscle between the lungs and the belly. The diaphragm is what allows you to breathe. When it moves down towards the belly, it expands the lungs, which draws in air. It they moves back up towards the chest, which exhales the air in the lungs. While the process is involuntary, it’s actually one of the involuntary muscle movements that we can control. But when irritated and in the middle of a spasm, we lose all control, and hiccups develop. But they can be stopped, by stimulating the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve is a nerve located at the base of the brain. It’s a nerve that allows sensory information from the bodies organs to be passed to the brain. To stop hiccups from happening the vagus nerve needs to be triggered by a stronger and more powerful signal. And sugar is just the thing to provide that powerful signal.
When the sugar signal hits the nerve it tells the brain that you have just had sugar, something that the brain craves. This sensation completely blocks the signal from the brain telling your body to hiccup. It’s as if the brain forgot what it had to do. But as we said from the outset, it doesn’t always work.
If this remedy doesn’t work there could be an imbalance in the brains chemistry. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other solutions for hiccups which are, a little invasive, but work even better. If they continue to persist, extreme medical intervention may be needed, which can include implanting an electrical stimulation device in the chest which sends electrical impulses to the vagus nerve and the diaphragm.