All the world’s woo-woo couldn’t cure man of his hiccups.

As if we needed yet more proof that homeopathy, acupuncture, and all the rest of the woo-woo “alternative” medicines don’t really help, here’s a story about a man who suffered from the hiccups for years until he was finally cured after doctors removed a tumor from his brain stem:

He tried yoga, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, pickled plums, mustard, vinegar and every single way you could imagine to drink water but now Chris Sands, the man who suffered hiccups for over two and a half years, has finally been cured.

[…] Mr Sands, who is an aspiring musician and lives in Timberland near Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, first got the hiccups in September 2006 and, after a few days, began searching for a diagnosis.

After finding that hiccups could be linked to brain tumours, he went to visit a doctor.

“They said, ‘don’t worry about it, it’s probably just linked to your heartburn, here’s some Gaviscon’,” he said.

The hiccups went away but returned for good in February 2007.

What followed was a two-year search for something to stop the hiccups that took him to the other side of the world.

“When you first tell people about the hiccups they do laugh straight away and I suppose they don’t think about how debilitating it is.

“It has ruined my life pretty much.”

I’ve boldfaced an important bit of text in the quote above. It’s important because Mr. Sands’ initial concern that it might be brain tumor ultimately turned out to be correct. When the hiccups returned in 2007 he should have gone back his doctor’s office and asked that they do a more in-depth examination.

Instead he decided to try just about every form of “alternative” medicine he could find and made a few TV appearances along the way. One show in Japan invited him back after their initial story about him generated some 500 suggested cures from viewers. It was during that visit that his true problem was found:

Straight off the plane, his first day was spent with a hiccup specialist who had been studying the condition for years.

It was there that he underwent the MRI scan that revealed the tumour.

The man who diagnosed Mr Sands in Japan, Dr Condo, said: “CT scans are extremely poor at detecting in this area – unless you use an MRI scan you won’t be able to detect it.

“If they had done an MRI scan in England, they probably would have found it.”

But Chris is not angry about the way he way was treated.

In fact, despite being offered the opportunity to have the operation in Japan, he chose to return to England.

“Everyone else seems to mean harm to the NHS for various reasons but I really don’t.

“They probably should have done [an MRI exam] but it just never happened.

“I don’t blame anyone and I got treated well no matter where I went.”

Think on that for a moment. Two years of constant hiccuping and trying all manner of oddball treatments and a simple MRI scan was all it took to find the problem. A tumor that, had it continued to go untreated, likely would’ve killed him before too much longer.

Mr. Sands underwent surgery that removed most of the tumor and his hiccups have largely subsided, though he still gets occasional bouts from time to time. His doctor’s made a mistake in not taking the condition seriously in the beginning, but Mr. Sands made a mistake in not insisting they take it seriously and opting to try any ridiculous idea that came along. I can only imagine the desperation he must have felt that probably drove him to trying anything he could, but two years is a long time to suffer for want of insisting your doctor refer you to a specialist. Stick to the stuff that’s been shown to work. The “alternatives” are a waste of time and money.