Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital after having hiccups for more than 10 days.
The 66-year-old complained of abdominal pain caused by the ongoing hiccups, and was taken to a military hospital in the early hours of this morning, July 14.
Hiccups, known as ‘singultus’ in the medical world, are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. When the contraction occurs, it closes your vocal chords, which is why you make a ‘hic’ noise.
They’re classed as ‘persistent’ if they last more than two days, or ‘intractable’ if they last longer than a month.
While most of us would be in a pretty foul mood after having hiccups for so long, Bolsonaro is reportedly in ‘good spirits’ despite feeling unwell, and will remain in hospital for two days under observation.
Over the next 48 hours, tests are going to be carried out to try determine what has caused the hiccups to last for so long.
Bolsonaro recently struggled to speak during an interview, where he apologised for his hiccups. He said while on Radio Guaiba on July 7, as per Mail Online, ‘I apologise to everyone who is listening to me, because I’ve been hiccupping for five days now. I have had the hiccups 24 hours a day.’
He apologised again the following day after continuing to hiccup throughout his weekly Facebook Live stream, during which he said that it’s not the first time that he’s been left hiccupping for days on end.
Prior to being taken into hospital today, Bolsonaro suggested that his hiccups could be down to suggested medication prescribed by a dental surgery earlier this month. Doctors have also speculated whether his hiccups are a result of repeated abdomen surgery.
The president was stabbed in 2018, leaving him seriously injured and having to undergo numerous surgeries as a result.
According to Heathline, long-lasting hiccups can be a result of health conditions that affect nerve signalling to the diaphragm, causing it to contract frequently. This can be caused by nerve damage or changes in nerve signalling. However, there are many conditions associated with persistent and intractable hiccups, potentially making it difficult to pinpoint.
The surgeon who performed on Bolsonaro three years ago, Antônio Luiz Macedo, has been called to the hospital he’s been taken to, as per local media reports.
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