VIDEO: Doctors baffled by Emily Marsh,13, from Wallington who can't stop hiccuping

Your Local Guardian: Emily Marsh's hiccups started as she walked to a maths lesson nine weeks ago Emily Marsh's hiccups started as she walked to a maths lesson nine weeks ago

Doctors have been left stumped by an “extremely rare” medical condition that has caused a schoolgirl to hiccup constantly for more than two months.

Emily Marsh, 13, from Wallington, has been hiccuping every two seconds since January, with health experts still baffled as to what is causing the problem.

The teenager is one of only a handful of young people known to have had sustained chronic hiccups.

Despite a string of tests doctors still have no idea how to treat the Stanley Park High School pupil, who can only manage half a day at school because the condition is not only painful but exhausting.

The hiccups – which started as Emily walked to a maths lesson nine weeks ago – are an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, and only stop when she is in a deep sleep.

Her mum, Cathy Barrett, 45, said: “Absolutely nothing has worked. We have tried hypnotherapy and osteopathy but we are now completely running out of ideas.

“Emily takes it all in her stride. She’s just got to the stage where she’s fed up and wants them to go. I can understand – if you have hiccups for 10 to 15 minutes it’s horrible.

“We believe that someone somewhere must be able to help or come up with a solution.”

Emily said she had tried out nearly every known home remedy.

She said: “I have tried everything – even a spoonful of vinegar. That was horrible – I refused to do it again.

“I’ve tried drinking backwards, holding my breath and people at school have been trying to scare me a lot.”

Dr Ritu Handa, the paediatric consultant looking after Emily at Queen Mary’s Children Hospital at St Helier Hospital, said they had tried a string of tests on Emily including an MRI scan, blood tests and extensive assessments of her stomach.

However, all the tests have proved inconclusive. Other medical problems have been known to cause chronic hiccuping, but doctors have so far been unable to find anything wrong with Emily and have ruled out serious medical conditions.

Dr Handa said: “This condition is very rare and it is frustrating for Emily and her family. We are doing everything we can, working with our colleagues and closely with the family, to try to find an answer to this young girl’s
hiccups.”

Mrs Barrett said medication known to have worked on adults cannot be used on Emily because it is not suitable for children. One drug she has already tried left her ill in hospital for a week.

She said a young American girl had created a “hiccupop”, a lollipop, which she believes will stop hiccups as it worked for her but it had yet to be released for public sale.

She praised St Helier Hospital, Stanley Park High School and the Chiltern Health Centre who are all providing help to the youngster.

Other cases of people to have had chronic hiccuping include an American man, Charles Osborne,who is in the Guinness Book of World Records after having hiccups for 68 years from 1922 to 1990 – when they mysteriously stopped.

In 2007, teenager Jennifer Mee, from Florida, became famous for hiccuping about 50 times a minute for more than five weeks.

If you have an idea how to cure Emily’s hiccups, leave a comment in the box below.

Comments (22)

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5:22pm Thu 4 Apr 13

EmmaFR says...

This usually works for even the most persistent hiccups.
Place an index finger on each side of the head in the temples.. You will feel a hollow there. Take a very deep breath, and hold while pushing strongly in this hollow for as long as possible.
Persist... My step-daughter often suffers with prolonged hiccups and this works for her.
Good luck!
This usually works for even the most persistent hiccups. Place an index finger on each side of the head in the temples.. You will feel a hollow there. Take a very deep breath, and hold while pushing strongly in this hollow for as long as possible. Persist... My step-daughter often suffers with prolonged hiccups and this works for her. Good luck! EmmaFR
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Thu 4 Apr 13

KHollingsworth says...

This is a pressure point technique similar to the comment above. Have someone place their thumbs over each eyebrow and press firmly. This always works. On one friend I had to use my finger tips over each brow because she had a wide forehead. I hope this works!
This is a pressure point technique similar to the comment above. Have someone place their thumbs over each eyebrow and press firmly. This always works. On one friend I had to use my finger tips over each brow because she had a wide forehead. I hope this works! KHollingsworth
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Thu 4 Apr 13

JohnBristle says...

This is very simple, go see a chiropractor.
This is very simple, go see a chiropractor. JohnBristle
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Thu 4 Apr 13

erinjames says...

I can help her.

So long as this is not a medical condition and she is not enjoying the media attention, in other words, would rather it run it course, then this can be cured. I guarantee this will work.

I learned this while taking singing lessons.

1.) Take in a deep breathe, slowly, while doing this put your arms above your head and push your stomach muscles out, you will feel as if you are pushing a poo (sorry for the description), but this is exactly how it should feel.

2.) Hold that breathe for as long as you can.

3.) When you can't hold your breathe any longer, THIS IS KEY, hold the position of arms in the air and stomach muscles out then SLOWLY release the air from your lungs as if you were deflating a balloon slowly.

Pushes everything out of the way of your diaphragm so it can get back into rhythm.

Works every time.
I can help her. So long as this is not a medical condition and she is not enjoying the media attention, in other words, would rather it run it course, then this can be cured. I guarantee this will work. I learned this while taking singing lessons. 1.) Take in a deep breathe, slowly, while doing this put your arms above your head and push your stomach muscles out, you will feel as if you are pushing a poo (sorry for the description), but this is exactly how it should feel. 2.) Hold that breathe for as long as you can. 3.) When you can't hold your breathe any longer, THIS IS KEY, hold the position of arms in the air and stomach muscles out then SLOWLY release the air from your lungs as if you were deflating a balloon slowly. Pushes everything out of the way of your diaphragm so it can get back into rhythm. Works every time. erinjames
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Thu 4 Apr 13

HumanAD says...

Hi Emily,
I am so sorry about your challenge. Please take homeopathy remedies. Get in touch with me via email or send me your contact info so I can email you the contact details of the doctor.
Hi Emily, I am so sorry about your challenge. Please take homeopathy remedies. Get in touch with me via email or send me your contact info so I can email you the contact details of the doctor. HumanAD
  • Score: 0

4:21am Fri 5 Apr 13

mikevalente says...

Try a spoonful of peanut butter - always works for me and they stop immediately. Hope this helps.
Try a spoonful of peanut butter - always works for me and they stop immediately. Hope this helps. mikevalente
  • Score: 0

6:48am Fri 5 Apr 13

porkchop2000 says...

Take 4" x 4" piece of paper, draw a dot in the middle, make circles around it like a target (6-8rings), getting bigger and bigger, imagine a rock is falling at the dot, Imagine the circles are ripple s in the water and just stare at it for 30 seconds. My 11yr old son does this and it actually works every time for him. Everyone he knows who has tried it, works for them as well. Best wishes from the USA.
Take 4" x 4" piece of paper, draw a dot in the middle, make circles around it like a target (6-8rings), getting bigger and bigger, imagine a rock is falling at the dot, Imagine the circles are ripple s in the water and just stare at it for 30 seconds. My 11yr old son does this and it actually works every time for him. Everyone he knows who has tried it, works for them as well. Best wishes from the USA. porkchop2000
  • Score: 0

11:15am Fri 5 Apr 13

vegaaluis says...

I have a friend; his name is Jesus and he hears you when you pray in your knees, bealiving he will answer..ask him to restore your health. Pray, offer him a sacrifice of a meal a day ( that means Don't eat that meal) and pray untill your health be restore. He will test your patience, your heart, and your faith,.....beleave me, you will be better if you do this.
I have a friend; his name is Jesus and he hears you when you pray in your knees, bealiving he will answer..ask him to restore your health. Pray, offer him a sacrifice of a meal a day ( that means Don't eat that meal) and pray untill your health be restore. He will test your patience, your heart, and your faith,.....beleave me, you will be better if you do this. vegaaluis
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Fri 5 Apr 13

khalberg says...

mikevalente wrote:
Try a spoonful of peanut butter - always works for me and they stop immediately. Hope this helps.
I agree, this stops them almost immediately. I have also found that keeping it sticky on the roof of your mouth helps too.
[quote][p][bold]mikevalente[/bold] wrote: Try a spoonful of peanut butter - always works for me and they stop immediately. Hope this helps.[/p][/quote]I agree, this stops them almost immediately. I have also found that keeping it sticky on the roof of your mouth helps too. khalberg
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Fri 5 Apr 13

d-3000 says...

Emily should seriously try grounding. This means connecting barefoot with the earth; Doing breathing exercises like QiGong whilst doing this will make a difference if done for long enough. You can also buy "grounding sheets" so she is grounded all night long while she sleeps. I guarantee she would wake up hiccup free.
Emily should seriously try grounding. This means connecting barefoot with the earth; Doing breathing exercises like QiGong whilst doing this will make a difference if done for long enough. You can also buy "grounding sheets" so she is grounded all night long while she sleeps. I guarantee she would wake up hiccup free. d-3000
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Fri 5 Apr 13

Azwraith says...

If your want 100% working cure you should check the work of Edgar Cayce i am pretty certain he cured someone with the same problem.

u welcome.
If your want 100% working cure you should check the work of Edgar Cayce i am pretty certain he cured someone with the same problem. u welcome. Azwraith
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Fri 5 Apr 13

Jeanmichel says...

Hi Emily I am a medical student. I would like to tell you more about hydrogen peroxide therapy. Will you please get in touch with me asap, good luck and get well soon, Jeanmichel
Hi Emily I am a medical student. I would like to tell you more about hydrogen peroxide therapy. Will you please get in touch with me asap, good luck and get well soon, Jeanmichel Jeanmichel
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 6 Apr 13

John Meyrick says...

Cure hiccups:-
Get someone to lend a hand.
Block airways to nose and ears.
Drink a large glass of water, as much as possible in one go whilst keeping airway to nose and ears tightly closed.

It works every time for me.
Hope it works for you
John
Cure hiccups:- Get someone to lend a hand. Block airways to nose and ears. Drink a large glass of water, as much as possible in one go whilst keeping airway to nose and ears tightly closed. It works every time for me. Hope it works for you John John Meyrick
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Sat 6 Apr 13

powder28gram says...

Fill a tall glass with water, fold a paper towel in half then half again hold it over the glass and suck the water through the paper towel. It messes with the diaphragm, I usually get the hiccups after a long night of drinking it works like a charm.
Fill a tall glass with water, fold a paper towel in half then half again hold it over the glass and suck the water through the paper towel. It messes with the diaphragm, I usually get the hiccups after a long night of drinking it works like a charm. powder28gram
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Sat 6 Apr 13

xBalance says...

Hi Emily. This method has helped to remove hiccups in 30 second and helped so far to everyone it was offered.

Please complete steps as described below:

For overall best results, please try to do the steps as quickly as you can and try very hard not to let any air out.

Step 1: Start by inhaling through your mouth until your lungs feel full (when it feels like you cannot inhale any more.... your lungs will basically stop taking in air).

Step 2: Swallow. You are not really swallowing anything but it seems that without this act, it doesn’t work. Do not let any air out.

Step 3: Now inhale some more until your lungs feel full again. You may not be able to inhale a lot, but do get some more air in. It will start to get difficult to do this as you go, but keep trying. You obviously can’t suck in as much air as you did initially, but just a little will do (think of it as taking a “sip” of air but directly into your lungs).

Step 4: Swallow again. This too will start to get difficult as you go. Do not let any air out.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 (inhale and swallow) until you cannot swallow again. While it seems you can almost always suck in just a little more air, it is actually the swallowing that gets to be impossible. When you feel like you cannot swallow again, swallow again anyway. It will be hard to do, your face will probably turn red, and you may make squeaking sounds. But you CAN swallow one last time. By this time, your lungs should also be quite full and it should be difficult to get much more air in as well. While you should try not to let any air out, if you have really repeated steps 3 and 4 as many times as you can, you probably will end up letting a little air out before you can take that last swallow. If you find that air keeps escaping out of your nose even early in the process, try squeezing it shut with your fingers.

Step 6: Exhale.

Full version:
http://www.cognitial
.com/hiccups.shtml#j
ump_cure

I praise the guy who published this method as nothing ever helped so quickly and efficiently....
Hi Emily. This method has helped to remove hiccups in 30 second and helped so far to everyone it was offered. Please complete steps as described below: For overall best results, please try to do the steps as quickly as you can and try very hard not to let any air out. Step 1: Start by inhaling through your mouth until your lungs feel full (when it feels like you cannot inhale any more.... your lungs will basically stop taking in air). Step 2: Swallow. You are not really swallowing anything but it seems that without this act, it doesn’t work. Do not let any air out. Step 3: Now inhale some more until your lungs feel full again. You may not be able to inhale a lot, but do get some more air in. It will start to get difficult to do this as you go, but keep trying. You obviously can’t suck in as much air as you did initially, but just a little will do (think of it as taking a “sip” of air but directly into your lungs). Step 4: Swallow again. This too will start to get difficult as you go. Do not let any air out. Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 (inhale and swallow) until you cannot swallow again. While it seems you can almost always suck in just a little more air, it is actually the swallowing that gets to be impossible. When you feel like you cannot swallow again, swallow again anyway. It will be hard to do, your face will probably turn red, and you may make squeaking sounds. But you CAN swallow one last time. By this time, your lungs should also be quite full and it should be difficult to get much more air in as well. While you should try not to let any air out, if you have really repeated steps 3 and 4 as many times as you can, you probably will end up letting a little air out before you can take that last swallow. If you find that air keeps escaping out of your nose even early in the process, try squeezing it shut with your fingers. Step 6: Exhale. Full version: http://www.cognitial .com/hiccups.shtml#j ump_cure I praise the guy who published this method as nothing ever helped so quickly and efficiently.... xBalance
  • Score: 0

8:17pm Sat 6 Apr 13

Jarek1 says...

Hi Emily.
It sounds funny but when I was young someone told me to get one teaspoon of sugar. I don't understand why, but it helps me every time whem I've got hiccup. Maybe it works to me only, but you can try it.
One spoon of sugar - nice and sweet, no risk.
Jarek
Hi Emily. It sounds funny but when I was young someone told me to get one teaspoon of sugar. I don't understand why, but it helps me every time whem I've got hiccup. Maybe it works to me only, but you can try it. One spoon of sugar - nice and sweet, no risk. Jarek Jarek1
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Sat 6 Apr 13

mikeangelo says...

Emily, this is extremely frustrating for you! I know because twice I've also had hiccups that lasted for over two weeks. I tried everything. The only home remedy that made it stop for a while was.. (block the outer of your nose with your thumbs and place your index fingers in each ear and then get someone to give you a long glass of water which you have to drink as long as you can hold your breath.)
My last bout occurred after I had a slight anesthetic for an examination. After a little research I discovered that sedation can activate the vagus nerve which, in turn, creates hiccups. I ended up in hospital where the doctors gave me doses of two medicines. One was called Largactil and the other (which did the job) was called Depakine Chrono 500. These are neurological medicines and must be prescribed by a doctor. I hope this information helps.
Emily, this is extremely frustrating for you! I know because twice I've also had hiccups that lasted for over two weeks. I tried everything. The only home remedy that made it stop for a while was.. (block the outer of your nose with your thumbs and place your index fingers in each ear and then get someone to give you a long glass of water which you have to drink as long as you can hold your breath.) My last bout occurred after I had a slight anesthetic for an examination. After a little research I discovered that sedation can activate the vagus nerve which, in turn, creates hiccups. I ended up in hospital where the doctors gave me doses of two medicines. One was called Largactil and the other (which did the job) was called Depakine Chrono 500. These are neurological medicines and must be prescribed by a doctor. I hope this information helps. mikeangelo
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Sat 6 Apr 13

Brianfromsutton says...

Just loving all of the 'remedies' and solutions suggested above.

So has Emily tried any of them?, have they worked? is the family even reading these comments?

Please can we have an update, I'm so intrigued to know which of them cured the problem!

And to all of the people saying, "get in touch/e-mail me"... emmm, how can she do that on just a comment section on this site?

Please let us know if a cure has been found!
Just loving all of the 'remedies' and solutions suggested above. So has Emily tried any of them?, have they worked? is the family even reading these comments? Please can we have an update, I'm so intrigued to know which of them cured the problem! And to all of the people saying, "get in touch/e-mail me"... emmm, how can she do that on just a comment section on this site? Please let us know if a cure has been found! Brianfromsutton
  • Score: 0

10:38am Sun 7 Apr 13

yeinchin says...

Dear Emily, your situation may be a medical condition, please see link
http://www.newscient
ist.com/article/dn90
30-hiccups-may-signa
l-underlying-gullet-
cancer.html

You may also want to try acupuncture, see attached research
http://www.ncbi.nlm.
nih.gov/pmc/articles
/PMC3035062/
Dear Emily, your situation may be a medical condition, please see link http://www.newscient ist.com/article/dn90 30-hiccups-may-signa l-underlying-gullet- cancer.html You may also want to try acupuncture, see attached research http://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles /PMC3035062/ yeinchin
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Mon 8 Apr 13

C&SBarrett says...

We would like to thank everyone who has replied with positive comments and ideas in relation to my daughter's hiccups. We spend many hours going though web pages and responses. Emily has tried all the 'home' remedies and still tries variations when they are posted. All medical replies are discussed with her Consultant as we are willing to try anything she thinks is suitable. We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people and will, of couse, let you know, as soon as they go.
We would like to thank everyone who has replied with positive comments and ideas in relation to my daughter's hiccups. We spend many hours going though web pages and responses. Emily has tried all the 'home' remedies and still tries variations when they are posted. All medical replies are discussed with her Consultant as we are willing to try anything she thinks is suitable. We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people and will, of couse, let you know, as soon as they go. C&SBarrett
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Tue 9 Apr 13

Dellfim says...

Hello, I'm Portuguese too Saluces'm doing now a year and a half, in the beginning it was a week in, week out, it was like that for months ... As Emily just sleeping passing.
I wake up and up, past 30/50min and returned again the soluces sometimes a slight chest pain and difficulty breathing (asthma as was) and if he ate too have reflux.
I've done several tests, analyzes, with a gastro specialist, as Digestive Endoscopy; Xray thyroid, esophagus, stomach and duodenum; Thoracic and Abdominal CT;
The results were all normal ... as the level of the stomach this all normal forwarded me to a specialist neurology, who explained the order to sob and brain, however did CT scans and skull electroencephalogram this also normal.
Doctors say it's stress, depression, worry ...
-But more than a year ...
I have taken several antidepressants, tranquilizers, drugs for the central nervous system and to protect the stomach. And still all the same five days to five days without hiccup ...
It is now four months I'm taking a new medically Baclofen is a muscle relaxant, this result having some of the Saluces dropped 5 consecutive days to 1.2 days.
But 10 weeks to sob too ... and I still have a entrevá it.
I hope I helped, gives news of your status, courage and improvements.
Hello, I'm Portuguese too Saluces'm doing now a year and a half, in the beginning it was a week in, week out, it was like that for months ... As Emily just sleeping passing. I wake up and up, past 30/50min and returned again the soluces sometimes a slight chest pain and difficulty breathing (asthma as was) and if he ate too have reflux. I've done several tests, analyzes, with a gastro specialist, as Digestive Endoscopy; Xray thyroid, esophagus, stomach and duodenum; Thoracic and Abdominal CT; The results were all normal ... as the level of the stomach this all normal forwarded me to a specialist neurology, who explained the order to sob and brain, however did CT scans and skull electroencephalogram this also normal. Doctors say it's stress, depression, worry ... -But more than a year ... I have taken several antidepressants, tranquilizers, drugs for the central nervous system and to protect the stomach. And still all the same five days to five days without hiccup ... It is now four months I'm taking a new medically Baclofen is a muscle relaxant, this result having some of the Saluces dropped 5 consecutive days to 1.2 days. But 10 weeks to sob too ... and I still have a entrevá it. I hope I helped, gives news of your status, courage and improvements. Dellfim
  • Score: 0

1:49am Fri 3 May 13

drwong says...

i know this is really late, emily. Please access this website http://www.hiccupcur
enow.com/

It has a charge, but it will be waved - you do not need to enter any payment details.

Best of luck. I know doctors don't know everything but it is worth a try.
i know this is really late, emily. Please access this website http://www.hiccupcur enow.com/ It has a charge, but it will be waved - you do not need to enter any payment details. Best of luck. I know doctors don't know everything but it is worth a try. drwong
  • Score: 0

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