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Body Oddities

Dr. Kylie Bosman joined us in studio to help make sense of some the body's strange, little idiosyncrasies. 

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SINGULTUS - Hiccup


What causes it?

A hiccup is caused by a contraction of the diaphragm. The rush of air causes the vocal chords to close quickly, which in turn, creates the 'hic' sound. Hiccups are most often caused by the consumption of carbonated beverages, alcohol and spicy foods.

Can it be serious?

Persistent hiccups can be a sign of something more serious including nerve damage, central nervous system disorders and metabolic disorders. You should see a doctor if your hiccups persist for more than 48 hours.

What's the best cure?


In 1971, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine cited a spoonful of sugar beneath the tongue as a cure for the hiccups.

OSCITATION - Yawn

What causes it?

No one is really sure what causes us to yawn. There are several theories but it really remains a mystery. One theory is that we yawn when the oxygen level in our blood is low. Another theory suggests our ancestors used yawning to intimidate others with a show of teeth. What experts do agree on is that it is highly contagious! Just reading the word YAWN can lead to yawning.

Can it be serious?


Excessive yawning can indicate an issue with the heart. You should consult your physician.

BLEPHAROSPASM - Eye twitch

What causes it?

The three most common causes for an eye twitch are stress, fatigue and caffeine.    

Can it be serious?

Sometimes an eye twitch can be severe enough to cause your eye to completely close. This type of twitch can be caused by irritation of the cornea or other parts of the eye. This type of twitch should be looked at by your doctor.  

What's the best cure?

More severe eye twitches can actually be cured by Botox injections into the eye.  
         
PYROSIS - Heartburn
       
What causes it?

The sensation of heartburn is caused by acid from your stomach backing up into your esophagus. The backup is usually worse when you're bent over or lying down.

Can it be serious?


Cardiac arrest and other esophageal issues can share similar symptoms so it is important to see a doctor if you experience severe chest pain, especially if it is accompanied by difficulty breathing or arm pain.

What's the best cure?


There are many over-the-counter medications that can help ease the pain of heartburn. If the issue persists, your doctor can prescribe a stronger medication.

SPHENOPALATINE GANGLIONEURALGIA - Brain Freeze

What causes it?


Brain freeze or 'ice cream headache' is believed to be caused by the rapid constriction and the swelling of the blood vessels in the palate. Your brain 'refers' the pain so it feels as though it's coming from the forehead.

Can it be serious?

No, it is simply a reaction to the cold touching the roof of your mouth. It stops once you remove the cause.

What's the best cure?

Placing your tongue against the roof of your mouth can warm the area, helping it return to normal more quickly.
 

 

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