• Sat. Nov 28th, 2020
woman with hiccups

Causes of hiccups is still a mystery to many people. Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. This is the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The diaphragm also has an important role in breathing. Hiccups are rather uncomfortable. It is essential to understand the most common causes of hiccups. During hiccups, each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords. This produces the characteristic “hic” sound. Most times, about hiccups lasts only a few minutes. But rarely, hiccups may persist for months. This condition is known as Singultus. It can result in weight loss and exhaustion. Causes of hiccups that last for less than 48 hours include:


  • eating a large meal
  • alcoholic or carbonated beverages
  • abrupt excitement
  • sudden temperature changes
  • swallowing air while chewing gum
  • underlying medical condition

Causes of chronic hiccups include:

  • nerve irritation
  • central nervous system disorders
  • some drugs


Woman with hiccups. Causes of hiccups is still a mystery.

Nerve damage or irritation happens when a foreign body in the ear touches the eardrum. Also, a tumor, cyst, or goiter can cause this irritation. Central nervous disorders that can cause hiccups include encephalitis, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and tumors. Metabolic disorders resulting from alcoholism, anesthesia, kidney disease, and diabetes can also cause chronic hiccups. Also, drugs such as barbiturates, steroids, and tranquilizers, can also trigger long term hiccups. Men are more likely to develop chronic hiccups than are women. Long term hiccups can lead to problems with eating, sleeping, speech, and wound healing

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