New cure for hiccups via the oldest medical technology: digital rectal exam

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One of the first medical technologies physicians-in-training are tasked with perfecting is our physical exam. For male physicians, one of the most dreaded parts is the digital rectal exam, since we know that we ourselves will need to be subjected to this someday. Every man gets prostate cancer if he lives long enough.

Who would know that it's also a documented cure for intractable hiccups? At least in this New Zealander and Israeli patient. I think my patients would prefer the traditional medications I use for intractable hiccups such as benzodiazepines.

One note to intrepid souls dying to try this at home: don't! I've seen enough folks faint from the vagal stimulation of rectal examination. I'd hate for you to have a bump on your head to accompany your hiccups. Hmmm... That's possibly the way this works after all!

This case report was so strange, I'll tell you how I found this: via Kevin MD who saw it at BoingBoing via JWZ who found out from the IgNobel Awards, covered by AP , Wikipedia, and My Alter Ego.

Tailrank lists many commenting on this...

Picture courtesy of Denn

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About the Author


MD, FACP, FASN

Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.

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