Why do we have hiccups?

Hiccups are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle that connects your chest and abdomen and controls your breathing.

Each contraction is followed by an abrupt closing of your vocal cords, resulting in the “hic” sound. A case of hiccups normally lasts only a few minutes for most people.

Hiccups might last for months in rare cases. This might lead to weight loss as well as tiredness.


Doctor found symptoms of dangerous disease

A symptom is hiccupping. A mild tightness sensation in your chest, belly, or throat may accompany it at times.

Male patient hasing chest pain on sickbed at hospital room.

When should you see a doctor?

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If your hiccups linger longer than 48 hours or are so severe that they interfere with eating, sleeping, or breathing, make an appointment with your doctor.


The following are the most common causes of hiccups that persist less than 48 hours:

• Consumption of carbonated beverages

food and beverage

• Excessive alcohol consumption

Problem With Alcohol

• Consuming excessive amounts of food

Oily garlic prawns

• Emotional stress or excitement

Work Crisis Burnout Emotional Stress

• Extreme temperature swings

Mood swing,creative typography made with coffee beans on stone table

• Chewing gum or sucking on candy to inhale air

Young Woman Chewing Gum And Making Big Balloon

Hiccups that persist longer than 48 hours can be caused by a number of different things, which can be classified into the following categories.

Irritation or nerve injury

Sciatic Nerve Inflammation, Lower Back Pain

Damage to or irritation of the vagus or phrenic nerves, which serve the diaphragm muscle, is a cause of long-term hiccups.

These nerves can be damaged or irritated by a variety of factors, including:

Hearing aid in baby girl's ear. Toddler child wearing a hearing aid at home. Disabled child

• Your eardrum is being touched by a hair or something else in your ear.

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• You have a neck tumor, cyst, or goiter.

A woman suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease

• GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Middle-aged woman doctor wearing gloves checking patients sore throat or thyroid glands

• Laryngitis or a sore throat

Disorders of the central nervous system

Neurologist doctor analysing nervous system using eeg headset

Your body’s natural control of the hiccup reflex can be disrupted by a tumor or infection in your central nervous system, or damage to your central nervous system as a result of trauma.

Here are several examples:

• Encephalitis

• Meningitis

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

• Stroke

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Closeup of brain MRI scan result

• Tumors

Hiccups that last a long time can be caused by:

• Alcoholism

• Anesthesia

• Barbiturates

• Diabetes

• Electrolyte deficiency

• Kidney problems

• Steroids

• Tranquilizers

Factors that are at risk

Men are far more prone than women to acquire long-term problems. Other variables that may make you more susceptible to hiccups include:

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• Emotional or mental problems

Short-term and long-term hiccups have been linked to anxiety, stress, and excitement in some cases.

A depressed, stressed woman putting her face on a pillow, mental problem and health care concept

• Surgery

After receiving general anesthesia or surgeries involving abdominal organs, some people get hiccups.

Team of surgeons performing surgery


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