I started having 100 hiccups a day when I was pregnant – and 12 years later I can’t stop – The Sun

A FED-UP mum-of two has had hiccups every day for the last 12 years – and thinks they will only stop when she dies.

Lisa Graves, 31, has not stopped since suffering a stroke during pregnancy and says the problem is taking its toll on her life.

And her unusual condition has even caused onlookers to compare the sound she makes to a dog being stood on and even a chicken.

The nail technician, from Lincoln, said: "I think I'm likely to be hiccuping till my grave – but it's become part of me now."

Lisa first started hiccuping after falling pregnant in 2008 – and was baffled as to why they wouldn't stop after having a healthy baby.

She underwent extensive tests, involving an MRI, specialist neurologists and EEGs in a desperate bid to find out the cause.

Doctors drew the conclusion that Lisa had suffered a stroke during pregnancy – and the hiccups were a unique side effect.

However, they have been unable to find a cure and she has since been hiccuping for almost 12 years.

Lisa's grown used to her unusual condition, but her hiccups – which are so loud are a constant surprise to her work colleagues.

I think I'm likely to be hiccuping till my grave – but it's become part of me now

Whilst her engineer husband, Matthew, 35, barely bats an eyelid, and her two daughters, Sophie, seven, and Emily, 11, take the loud hiccups in their stride, Lisa can find the condition hard to manage, often feeling the need to explain and pre-warn people.

Lisa can hiccup over one hundred times a day but made the decision to learn to live with the hiccups – rather than a trial of different medications.

Lisa said: "I'm lucky – I own my salon and the majority of the girls that I work with have grown used to it.

"But I can still make them jump, and there's been plenty of mishaps when we're working on nails – with a wild stroke of the brush here and there.

"I initially tried every hiccup remedy in the book – people making me jump, sucking on a lemon, literally everything.

"But nothing worked, and when the neurologists thought they'd cracked it, I decided to not go down the medicated route.

"There was no guarantee it would work, and it was manageable.

"Sometimes I do go on work courses and meals out with the family, things like that and they can be hard.

"I feel like I have to let people know what might happen – it's a loud noise, and it can be embarrassing."

The longest period of hiccuping on record, according to The British Society of Gastroenterology is 68 years.

Lisa's case is considered 'very rare' but according to Lisa, the involuntary contraction of her diaphragm now happens most when she's comfortable and relaxed.

Lisa added: "For everyone who knows me know, it's just a way of life, just who I am.

How do you get rid of hiccups?

There are a lot of recommended techniques for shifting hiccups. Here are some of the more popular methods:

  • Drink a full glass of water very quickly
  • Hold your breath for as long as you can
  • Put a pinch of salt under your tongue
  • Pull on your tongue
  • Gargle with ice cold water
  • Get someone to scare you
  • Bite into some a wedge of lemon

The majority of these have not been proven with actual science, although anecdotal evidence suggests that they work for some people.

"I can hiccup in the middle of a conversation, and it can be loud – most people say it sounds like a dog being stood on, although I've recently people say it sounds a bit like a chicken too.

"Now though, I've grown used to it.

"There was a time when I'd feel quite embarrassed about it, and would put off going out in public, but now, I just get on with it.

"For my two daughters, I've hiccuped their entire lives so it doesn't bother them.

"It can wake me up in the night, and sometimes my husband too, but it's only a minor inconvenience.

"Knowing what happened to me during my pregnancy for no reason, I'm lucky.

"It could have been a lot worse."

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