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What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them


  • Published: 2014-04-08 (Revised/Updated 2015-01-23) : Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Information on the causes of the annoying hiccups including several remedies and tips on how to get rid of them.

One of the most annoying medical phenomena, hiccups affects all of us, but what are hiccups and the accompanying "hic" sound

A hiccup is an unintentional movement, or spasm, of the diaphragm, this is the the muscle at the base of your lungs. The spasm is followed by a quick closing of the vocal cords, which in turn produces the distinctive "Hic" sound.

The medical term for hiccups is Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter (SDF), or singultus, which is Latin for the act of catching one's breath while sobbing. Hiccups are caused by involuntary diaphragm contractions, which make the vocal cords spasm. The contractions can be caused by a number of things like eating too much, drinking too much alcohol or carbonated beverages - even by stress or sudden changes in the temperature, according to the Mayo Clinic Website. Most people hiccup from 4 to 60 times per minute during an attack of the hiccups, everyone has a specific lifelong hiccup pattern. Hiccups are only found in mammals, and are most common in infants.

The average hiccups last from a few minutes to a couple of hours, however some people have been known to suffer from hiccuping episodes that last days, months or even years. According to Guinness World Records, the record for hiccuping continuously is held by Charles Osborne, from Anthon, Iowa, USA. He hiccuped continuously for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990!

Common Hiccup Causes Include:

Methods for Getting Rid of the Hiccups:

Some of the more popular hiccup cures work by stimulating your nasopharynx, this is the part of your pharynx behind the tonsils that is continuous with the nasal passage. These remedies include biting into a lemon, drinking from the far side of a glass, or pulling on your tongue.

If you want to try even more methods, here is a list of 250 ways said to to help eliminate hiccups - www.musanim.com/mam/hiccup.htm

Hiccups that last more than 48 hours can be categorized into:

Prescription Meds for the Hiccups:

A doctor should be consulted if you have the hiccups for 48 hours or more, as a number of prescription medications are available for persistent hiccups, including:

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