Bo Jackson says he needs medical procedure to cure hiccups

Written by on May 12, 2023

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Sports superstar Bo Jackson has been battling a severe case of hiccups for nearly a year and will now undergo a procedure in an attempt to cure the chronic ailment, USA Today reports. 

“I’ve had the hiccups since last July and I’m getting a medical procedure done the end of this week, I think, to try to remedy it,” Jackson, 60, said during a May 10 appearance on “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning” on WJOX-FM in Birmingham, Alabama, Today.com reports.  

BCS National Championship - Florida State v Auburn
Former Auburn Tigers player Bo Jackson on the field before the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The former Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Raiders player said doctors have been “probing me every way they can to find out why I’ve got these hiccups” but the cause of his condition remains a mystery. 

A hiccup is characterized by repeated spasms of the diaphragm that suddenly close the vocal cords. According to the Mayo Clinic, hiccups may indicate an underlying medical problem. It is extremely rare for hiccups to last months, which may lead to weight loss and extreme fatigue.

As Today.com reports, the medical condition caused Jackson to miss a recent ceremony honoring fellow Auburn University alum, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.

An article from the British Journal of General Practice recommends “a thorough clinical history” to find out what causes hiccups. This examination should unpack a patient’s history of “smoking and drug misuse, and drugs, gastrointestinal symptoms” per the article, as well as “cardiorespiratory symptoms” and neurological issues.

According to the article posted on the National Institutes of Health’s website, hiccups are classified in three ways: transient hiccups, which last anywhere from a few seconds or minutes, persistent hiccups go on for 48 hours or more and recurrent hiccups are “more lasting than transient and often with frequent repetition,” the article states.

A physical exam may also be necessary to get to the underlying cause of chronic hiccups, including a chest X-ray, ECG, gastroscopy, and cranial MRI, according to the article. 

“I have done everything: scare me, hang upside down, drink water, smell the (expletive) of a porcupine. It doesn’t work,” said Jackson of his attempts to remedy his hiccup episodes.

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