What causes hiccups?


Hiccups are an inspirational sound resulting from the sudden, involuntary and intermittent contraction of the diaphragm and inspirational muscles. It’s a common problem, but annoying. He knows how to stop it.

The hiccup, which in medicine is called singulto, consists of an inspirational sound that occurs as a result of the sudden, involuntary, and intermittent contraction of the diaphragm (a muscle at the base of the lungs) that causes the epiglottis to close, causing the typical hic sound.

What causes hiccups

Hiccups, which usually start for no apparent reason and usually go away in a few minutes, can affect people of all ages; in fact, even fetuses can have hiccups, and are very common in infants up to six months of age, which is often a concern for first-time parents.

Why do we have hiccups?

The diaphragm descends when we inhale so that the lungs are filled with air, and rises when we exhale to make it easier to get air out of the lungs. When this mechanism alters and the diaphragm goes up or down earlier than normal, breathing becomes different, causing the hiccups.

Hiccups are usually a transient and benign disorder, which only lasts a few minutes and resolves spontaneously, but in exceptional cases can last for days, weeks, or months, becoming then persistent hiccups, which need medical attention because it can originate in gastric, thoracic, metabolic or neurological disorders, and even be a symptom of diseases such as stomach ulcer, esophagitis or pancreatitis, among others.

Some possible causes of the hiccups are:

  • Overeating.
  • Eat too fast.
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Irritation of the diaphragm.
  • Stomach disorders.
  • States of nervousness or excitement.
  • Abdominal surgery.
  • Eat spicy or spicy foods or liquids.
  • Have any disease or disorder that irritates the nerves that control the diaphragm.

How to stop hiccups

There are no specific or scientifically proven measures to curb hiccups, and what is effective for some people, does not help others at all, but some suggestions you might try are:

  • Have a glass of cold water.
  • Drink water by bending your body forward.
  • Hold your breath and then breathe out slowly, repeating the process several times.
  • Take a spoonful of sugar.
  • Breathe repeatedly into a paper bag.
  • Take a teaspoon of lemon or some vinegar.
  • Be scared when you are unprepared (although this may not be recommended for some people, and should not be done with children).
  • Medicines (should only be given in case of persistent hiccups and prescription).

In the case of babies, experts explain that there are no remedies to stop the hiccups and we have to wait patiently for them to pass spontaneously. It is considered harmless to young children, but if the child has frequent or very long hiccups (half an hour or more) it is advisable to consult with the pediatrician to rule out any digestive, respiratory, or neurological problems.

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