Nicole Allard, a 37-year-old American woman living in Alaska, has been dealing with painful hiccup attacks for the past 15 years. According to The Sun, the young woman has spent more than a decade battling this mysterious ailment, which she finally eliminated—in part— by making a few changes to her diet.
Hiccup attacks that landed her in hospital
The 37-year-old, who works in an emergency room in Alaska, recalls what it was like growing up with this ailment:
Throughout high school, I was called a constipated pig, a baby seal being clubbed, a pterodactyl.
The noises she made during her hiccups, which were sometimes so painful that they landed her in hospital, were the cause.
As I got older, I got so tired of the pain. Sometimes the hiccups were stronger, sometimes quieter, sometimes so frequent that I couldn't catch my breath.
At first it was annoying but funny, then as it progressed I felt resigned.
Depressed, angry at the daily handicap that fell upon her at the age of 15, Nicole sometimes faced attacks that lasted for hours, even days, accompanied by severe stomach pains, only finding some respite at night.
A disrupted diet
Doctors were of little help—they were unable to pinpoint a precise cause, and simply linked her condition to stress.
I had hiccups pretty much all the time for 15 years. For the first five years I looked for help but got no answers.
It wasn't until 2011 that Nicole explored a new avenue by changing her diet a little. She was surprised to see the attacks stop for a few months... until a spicy chicken sandwich started her hiccups again.
With a friend, she decided to classify the food groups that triggered her hiccups in order to avoid them. It took three years, during which time she reduced her food to pills.
I took one pill a day for a fortnight, or until I got hiccups. If that happened, I would wait for them to stop and start with the next pot.
As a result, Nicole eliminated certain foods from her daily routine, six to be precise: peppers, wheat, dairy products, peas, corn and peanuts. And now her hiccups are (almost) a thing of the past.
My particular diet is probably something that will only help me, but I wish I could get more people with this disease together to try to find answers about it.