Hiccups are basically involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. Each contraction of this muscle is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords which then produces the hic sound. According to the Mayo Clinic, hiccups are a result of a large meal, carbonated drinks or alcohol, or even sudden excitement. Sometimes, it could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Over the years, people had different ways of stopping their hiccups. But did you know how Albanians followed a superstition to stop their hiccups?
According to Albanian superstition, hiccups occur when someone mentions the hiccuping person’s name in a conversation. In order for the hiccups to stop, one must say the name of the person they think talked about them. Once the gossiper’s name is said, the hiccups will stop.
What is the Albanian Superstition on Hiccups?
By definition, a superstition is any belief or practice considered irrational or supernatural. It is often attributed to fate, magic, or the fear of the unknown. Every culture has its own set of superstitions. One of the most common superstitions include; bad luck when a black cat crosses your path, stepping on a crack will break your mother’s back, and breaking a mirror will cause you seven years of bad luck. These superstitions are often open to interpretation. But Albanians have their own set of superstitions that include:
- If your ears turn red, it means someone is talking badly about you.
- You shouldn’t eat the leftovers found at the bottom of the pot, it will rain on your wedding day.
- If you kiss a child on the back of their neck, they will misbehave and not listen to you.
- If a women wears a crop top that shows her belly, she will become infertile.
- If you scratch an itch on the palm of your left hand, you will come into money.
Among these is the popular superstition about hiccups. In Albania, if you have hiccups, someone is gossiping about you or has mentioned your name. For the hiccups to stop, you would need to say the name of the person you suspect is talking about you, and then will the hiccups stop. (Source: Exit News)
What Actually Causes Hiccups?
The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the abdomen from your chest. It plays a vital role in breathing. When the diaphragm contracts and is followed by your vocal cords closing, hiccups are produced. Often hiccups are caused by consuming a large meal, drinking carbonated drinks or alcohol, a sudden burst of excitement, or it could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Hiccups last for a few minutes or so, but there are rare cases where they may persist for months. Individuals who experience this are exhausted and have lost weight because of it. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
When Do You Need To See the Doctor for Hiccups?
Hiccups that last for a couple of minutes don’t really cause any harm. But when the hiccups are so severe that they cause eating, sleeping, breathing problems or last for more than 48 hours, it’s time to make an appointment.
Hiccups that last for more than 48 hours may be caused by different things like; nerve damage or irritation, central nervous system disorders, metabolic disorders, drugs, mental or emotional problems, and post-operation complications. You need to keep in mind at this point that hiccups are a symptom of a medical condition. (Source: Mayo Clinic)