Like Water for Hiccups | Wash Your Mouth Out Wednesdays

Water cures hiccups?  Image courtesy of artzenter /

Water cures hiccups?
Image courtesy of artzenter /

When I first announced on my blog that I would be doing this segment, I solicited ideas, and a good one came from my WordPress pal, Tom Nardone, whose hilarious blog can be found at He suggested that I write about drinking water for hiccups.  So here you go, Tom. I hope this meets with your sarcastically loving approval.

Before you give me any home remedy advice, please do your research. At the ripe old age of 41, I have heard just about everything. I know that 41 isn’t “that old,” but I submit to you that I have been around the block, lived a life that has been exciting at times, and also have heard all kinds of advice from well-meaning friends and acquaintances who seem to know how to fix just about anything. So let’s examine some common myths and then debunk them together.

Don’t go outside with wet hair in the winter our you’ll catch your death of cold: I’m sure that someone, somewhere, once went outside with a wet head and actually caught a cold. But what causes colds?  Say it with me – viruses.  Does having wet hair make you more susceptible to viruses?  Um, no, it doesn’t.

Don’t look someone in the eye who has pinkeye or you’ll catch it: Pinkeye, or “conjunctivitis”, is caused by something irriting the eye, whether it be a virus, bacteria, or allergy. You cannot “catch” anything in your eye simply by looking at something. Neither bacteria, viruses, nor allergies are transmitted by sight. Sorry guys.

Don’t swallow gum, because it stays in your stomach: This may be the most ridiculous of the bunch, that gum doesn’t pass through your system just like all the other things that you consume. Did someone think that the gum would stick to the lining of your stomach? It simply passes through, just like everything else. Even if it does not get digested, it would take a very vigilant person, picking through their own poo for several days to even know that the gum had been expelled and had once again seen the light of day. Take my advice, and don’t look through your poo to find gum you have swallowed.  Just trust that it has passed.

Don’t swim immediately after eating, or you’ll get cramps: I can’t think of a better excuse than to say that parents who are at the lake or pool with their kids just need a damn break. Maybe if you had eaten a hamburger and fries for lunch would you need to wait before swimming, but this would be because you are sluggish because your blood is thick from all the fat you’ve just consumed, and are having a hard time getting oxygen to your muscles.  Otherwise, stomachs are not affected by consumption of food followed by exercise.

But how about this one: Drink a glass of water to cure the hiccups.  Or even better: Drink a glass of water upside down to get rid of the hiccups. What?  Who came up with this advice?  I think I have an idea.  Someone at a party sometime, we’ll call him “Ted”, drank too much and got the hiccups.  A smart friend realized what was happening.

“Ted, dude, you need to drink some water.”

Ted responds, “What do you mean, dude?”

The friends says, “You’ve had too much to drink. Put down the moonshine and have some water.”

After some time passes, maybe 15 minutes, Ted’s hiccups are miraculously cured. Wow. Water cures hiccups. It doesn’t really. The act of stopping drinking is what cured the hiccups, which were probably merely transitory anyway.

From now on, when a trusted friend gives you trusted advice with which you can’t come to terms, just give it a few minutes. Does the advice make sense? Is it in keeping with actual medical knowledge?  If not, then tell your friend to take a hike, because this is the 21st century, and here, we rely on science, not myths. The Mouth of Truth will thank you for it.