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Hiccups: What Causes Hiccups? & Hiccup Treatments and Facts

You are probably been struck by hiccups at one point or any other — perhaps you were drinking a soda too fast? Just what exactly causes this strange body function anyway?

There clearly was a sizable muscle under your lungs called the diaphragm; it is what helps yours lungs expand and contract, which often is the reason why you breathe. But sometimes your diaphragm may become irritated, maybe drinking or eating too soon, as well as just swallowing a lot of air! At these times, your diaphragm contracts too rapidly for your lungs to steadfastly keep up and air rushes into the lungs at a much quicker pace than usual. This rush of air then hits your voice box, which is what causes the familiar “hic!” sound!

Hiccups: What Causes Hiccups? & Hiccup Treatments and Facts

What Can Cause Hiccups?

From a physical standpoint, hiccups are brought on by uncontrolled spasms associated with diaphragm. Each spasm causes quick intake of breath, which makes a hiccup. The phrenic nerve, which controls the diaphragm, is directly accountable for these spasms. From a physiological standpoint, the medical community have not reached a consensus on why hiccups occur.

There are numerous factors that can cause an individual to really have the hiccups. Eating or drinking too soon gives many people hiccups. Sometimes spicy food, very hot food, or very cold food causes hiccups.

Hiccups: What Causes Hiccups? & Hiccup Treatments and Facts

Having a drink will often cause hiccups. Any quick intake of breath — sneezing, laughing, or coughing — can result in hiccups. Sometimes, there’s no easily identifiable reason.

Just as people generally have different ideas by what causes hiccups, in addition they disagree on approaches to stop them. Just about everyone knows one or more way to treat hiccups. Common cures when it comes to hiccups include drinking one glass of water for some reason. Some insist upon small sips, as well as others require that you tilt the head upside down and drink through the opposite region of the glass to help make the hiccups disappear completely.

Stretching the diaphragm by holding ones breath and raising the arms is yet another popular method for curing hiccups. Counting or saying the alphabet in reverse, seeking to concentrate on something complicated, or perhaps attempting to ignore the hiccups until they go away are also distraction based cures. Eating something, often something hard to swallow, is another possible hiccup cure. Many people mention chewing on a mouthful of sugar. Peanut butter, jam, wasabi and hot sauce are typical contenders as well.

In extreme cases of hiccups, medical assistance may be required. If a patient has hiccups that are severe, or will likely not drop by normal means, doctors can administer muscle relaxants, sedatives, or anti-convulsive drugs. The target is to interrupt the hiccups so your diaphragm begins functioning normally again. If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it really is that hiccups are annoying, as soon as you’ve got them, you cannot wait until each goes away.

Treatments and drugs

Many cases of hiccups go away on their own, without hospital treatment. If an underlying medical condition is causing your hiccups, treatment of that illness may get rid of the hiccups. Listed here treatments may be considered for hiccups which have lasted longer than 2 days.


Drugs commonly used to treat long-term hiccups include:

  • Chlorpromazine, classified as an antipsychotic
  • Metoclopramide (Reglan), an anti-nausea drug
  • Baclofen (Lioresal), a muscle relaxant

Surgical as well as other procedures

If less invasive remedies aren’t effective, the doctor may recommend an injection of an anesthetic to block your phrenic nerve to quit hiccups. Another option is to surgically implant a battery-operated device to supply mild electrical stimulation to your vagus nerve. This action is most commonly used to take care of epilepsy, but it in addition has helped control persistent hiccups.

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