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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Man has hiccups for two years

Christopher Sands, 25, has had hiccups for nearly two years

A man from Lincoln says he's keeping his sense of humour despite not being able to stop hiccupping for nearly two years.

Singer Christopher Sands, 25, first started hiccupping in December 2006. They only lasted two weeks but returned four months later.

He said he was scared at first: "You start browsing the internet and find out it can be linked to brain tumours and all sorts of crazy things.

"After realising that, I went down to the doctors to find out if he could do anything.

"They just gave me Gaviscon because I have a history of heartburn. They thought it was linked to that. That just didn't cure it. Nothing seemed to help."

It certainly has lost its novelty in a real sense but it's definitely still funny. And my friends still giggle about it

Christopher Sands on not being able to stop hiccupping

Short bouts of hiccupping often happen after drinking alcohol, or when your stomach is bloated, usually after eating or drinking too quickly.

Long-term hiccups can be caused by more serious conditions like tumours, strokes or anorexia.

Christopher Sands has suffered from heartburn all his life and can't keep food down because of his condition.

He's having surgery soon to fix a stomach complaint but says it won't cure his hiccups.

He said: "I had a couple of tests recently for my pH levels in my stomach.

"One of the things that is wrong with me is that the valve going into my stomach is damaged.

"All the food that I eat, with the hiccups, it all comes back up again.

"I haven't kept a meal down in the last two years properly.

"So they're going to do keyhole surgery on me... Unfortunately it won't cure the hiccups."

Hiccup 'cures'

Doctors call the contractions synchronous diaphragmatic flutters.

Hiccups happen when your diaphragm suddenly contracts.

The diaphragm is the muscle that sits underneath your ribcage and helps control your breathing.

Christopher Sands says he's tried every "cure" people claim to know for getting rid of hiccups. But none of them has worked.

Chris Sands, who can't stop hiccupping, spoke to the BBC in October 2007 about his problem

"You wouldn't imagine the things I've tried. Massages, which was great, yoga, hypnotherapy, acupuncture.

"I've been in an oxygen chamber, mustard, vinegar, every single way you could imagine of drinking water, I've drunk it. I've tried it all."

Before getting the hiccups, the 25-year-old was in a five-piece ska band and had started learning to play the piano.

But he says everything is on hold while he deals with having hiccups every two seconds for up to 12 hours a day.

"Since then every time I sit down to play I can't retain information, everything seems so much more difficult and in fact I can't play the songs I used to be able to play," he said.

"I've got worse at it during the time I've had the hiccups."

American Charles Osborne holds the record for the longest ever bout of hiccups, which lasted for 68 years from 1922 until 1990.

But despite his condition, Christopher says he can still see the funny side of non-stop hiccupping for two years.

"It certainly has lost its novelty in a real sense but it's definitely still funny.

"And to have it this long, it doesn't stop getting funnier. It's definitely really funny that I've had the hiccups for nearly two years.

"And my friends still giggle about it."

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