The exact cause of hiccups is unknown, but most cases involve the sudden expansion or distention of the stomach or the sudden movement of acids from the stomach up into the esophagus. A long list of other possible causes of hiccups is known and is listed below. However, hiccups usually cure themselves within a few minutes and are only considered a medical problem is they last for more than 48 hours.
Hiccups occur when the diaphragm suddenly contracts violently and repeatedly every second or every few seconds. The diaphragm is the muscle inside your body that separates your chest area from your abdominal area. It is the primary muscle used for breathing. When it contracts suddenly, it causes a small flap in your throat to open and close quickly, which causes the telltale hiccup sound. The small flap is called the epiglottis, and it keeps food and beverages from going into your brachial passages instead of into your stomach.
Following are some of the common causes associated with hiccups:
• Eating too fast may cause you to swallow air, which distends your stomach.
• Eating too much or eating fatty foods may cause the stomach to distend and irritate your diaphragm.
• Drinking alcohol or carbonated beverages often causes hiccups.
• Smoking is a common cause of hiccups.
• Some medical conditions are known to produce hiccups. These conditions include stroke, brain tumor, kidney failure, meningitis and encephalitis.
• Nerve damage can cause persistent hiccups lasting several days, weeks or even months.
• Some medications may produce hiccups. Many of these cause acid reflux, which then causes the hiccups. Such medications include Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Zofran.
• Hiccups may also be caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety or stress.
Once you have hiccups, they are usually treated through any number of home remedies. However, in most cases, hiccups simply go away on their own no matter what you do. Some home remedies work better than others for certain people. Home remedies include the following:
• Holding your breath for 10 seconds
• Breathing into a paper bag for 30 to 60 seconds
• Sipping water slowly
• Eating a spoonful of sugar or honey
Posted 3325 day ago