What causes you to get hiccups: Hiccups – Symptoms and causes
Are Hiccups a Sign of Something Serious?
If your hiccups are chronic, they may be more than a temporary annoyance. Find out about the underlying medical conditions that may be causing them.
Hiccups can be frustrating, especially if they occur for what seems like no apparent reason. They’re usually temporary, though, and resolve on their own in a few minutes. But, while we typically think of hiccups as annoying but not serious, that might not always be the case. Read on to learn more about hiccups, what you can do about them and when you should see a doctor.
What happens when you hiccup
The physiological process of hiccupping is actually straightforward. It occurs when your diaphragm, the muscle at the base of your lungs that is essential for breathing, makes an involuntary movement. When this happens, your vocal cords quickly close, which in turn causes the telltale “hic” sound.
Involuntary spasms of the diaphragm can occur when we eat too quickly (or too much), drink alcohol or drink carbonated beverages. Other causes can include eating something hot or spicy, a bloated stomach, abdominal surgery, certain medications or even just feeling nervous.
Tried-and-true home remedies
The first thing we usually turn to when it comes to alleviating hiccups are home remedies, and sometimes they actually work. Holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag, for example, may help.
Holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag raises the content of carbon dioxide in the blood, and in doing so, quells hiccups. Also, anything that may stimulate the vagus nerve (which connects the brain to the stomach), such as quickly drinking water, lightly pulling on your tongue or gently rubbing your eyes, may do the trick.
When hiccups may be more than an annoyance
Chronic hiccups, however, may be symptomatic of other health conditions. Chronic hiccups are associated with several underlying disorders, ranging from brain tumors and strokes to pneumonia and pleurisy.
Chronic hiccups can also impact your quality of life if they interrupt your sleeping and eating patterns. You may experience weight loss, exhaustion and dehydration. Other side effects include gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, and irregular heartbeat.
A variety of treatment options for chronic hiccups
Since chronic hiccup cases can persist for more than a month, it’s important to visit a doctor sooner rather than later. Persistent hiccups can be treated with a nerve blockade, medications such as chlorpromazine or, in rare cases, surgery.
If you do experience chronic hiccups, a visit to your doctor will help you get to the bottom of what’s causing them in the first place and find an appropriate treatment to make you feel more comfortable.
by Deanna Pai
Unsure about the right course of action for your hiccups? Our family medicine experts can help. Request an appointment or call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273).
Why do we hiccup? Causes and treatments
Most people experience hiccups from time to time. They can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, but they are usually short lived. Sometimes, however, they can indicate a more serious health concern.
Folk remedies for hiccups include drinking water and giving someone a shock, among others. Not all of these will work, but some may help.
Recurring or long term hiccups can indicate a serious underlying cause, such as neurological damage. For this reason, people should seek medical help if hiccups last for longer than 48 hours.
Some less concerning causes of hiccups include eating too quickly and taking a cold shower.
In this article, learn more about what causes hiccups, how to stop them, and when to see a doctor.
Hiccups result from a muscular spasm that happens when a person breathes in bursts of air.
The Latin name for hiccups is “singultus.” It comes from the word “singult,” meaning “to catch one’s breath while sobbing.”
When a person breathes in, they use the intercostal muscles (between the ribs) and the diaphragm (a dome-shaped sheet of muscle below the lungs).
Usually, when a person takes a breath, the diaphragm pulls down to draw air into the lungs. As they breathe out, the diaphragm pushes up to expel the air.
When a person has hiccups, the diaphragm contracts and pulls down, drawing in air between breaths. Immediately after this, the windpipe closes for a moment to prevent more air from entering the lungs. This produces the characteristic “hic” sound.
There are several reasons that hiccups occur. The sections below describe these in detail.
After eating or drinking
Hiccups often come after eating or drinking too much or too quickly.
The stomach, which is directly below the diaphragm, becomes distended. This irritates the diaphragm and causes it to contract, as it does when we breathe in.
Other digestion-related activities that may trigger hiccups include:
- gulping soda
- heartburn or acid reflux
- consuming alcohol
- smoking a lot
- swallowing air, including during hyperventilation
- eating hot then cold food, or the other way round
Sometimes, hiccups occur due to a disturbance in the nerve pathways that lead from the brain to the muscles between the ribs.
This can cause short term hiccups following:
- an emotional shock or stress
- an abrupt change in temperature, such as by taking a cold shower
Hiccups can also occur when a person:
- overstretches their neck, such as when shaving
- takes certain medications
- needs anesthetics during surgery
Medications that can lead to hiccups include:
“Persistent” hiccups are those that last for longer than 48 hours.
Sometimes, an episode of hiccups can last for longer than 2 months. Doctors call these “intractable” hiccups.
This could be due to a problem with:
- the brain or spinal cord
- the structures around the diaphragm or chest wall
- blood composition, such as high blood calcium levels
- the stomach, if it presses on the diaphragm
Hiccups can be a symptom of an underlying health problem. For example, they are a common occurrence in gastroesophageal disease.
Some people with cancer might also experience frequent hiccups. This may be due to their symptoms or some aspects of their treatment plan.
A wide range of other conditions can increase the likelihood of hiccups, including:
Infections: Examples include shingles, herpes simplex, and malaria.
Neurological conditions: Examples include aneurysm, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Ear, nose, and throat problems: Examples include cough, having a hair in the throat, and recent intubation.
Respiratory conditions: Examples include pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.
Metabolic disorders: Examples include diabetes, uremia, and hyponatremia.
Cardiovascular disorders: Examples include heart attack and pericarditis.
Persistent hiccups can lead to:
Both the causes and the impact of long term hiccups can be severe.
Learn more about what hiccups are and why they happen here.
People use a number of remedies for curing short term hiccups. Some of these are useful, but others are not.
Here are some that may help:
- Hold the breath for a short time.
- Pull the knees up to the chest and lean forward.
- Breathe into a paper bag.
- Take a few sips of ice cold water.
- Have a taste of lemon or vinegar.
- Swallow a little granulated sugar.
- Drink a glass of water, which will stimulate the nose and throat.
- Hold a cold compress to the face.
- Experience a sudden fright.
Breathing into a paper bag can halt the spasms by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs and relaxing the diaphragm. However, people should not put the bag over their head.
Other methods that people have tried include:
- rectal massage
- sexual stimulation
There is not enough evidence to confirm the usefulness of many of these approaches.
Learn more about how to get rid of hiccups here.
Things to avoid
The following methods are not suitable for stopping hiccups:
- consuming alcohol, hot drinks, or sodas
- chewing gum or smoking
- eating spicy food
- eating food quickly
- eating something hot followed by something cold
These techniques may make hiccups worse.
People should see a doctor if:
- hiccups last for longer than 48 hours
- they happen often
- they affect a person’s comfort and quality of life
If a person has persistent hiccups, a doctor may:
- identify and treat any underlying causes
- change their medication
- prescribe medication to relax the muscles
- treat symptoms, such as by prescribing medication to reduce feelings of nausea
Various drugs can help relieve hiccups. For example, injecting 25–50 milligrams of a drug called chlorpromazine has proven effective in 80% of cases.
In severe cases, a doctor may even recommend surgery.
Why Do You Get Hiccups? (And How to Stop Them) – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Q: I seem to get hiccups often and they’re very annoying. Why does this happen? And what can I do to get rid of them?
A: Most people have experienced the annoying, sometimes quite noisy condition known as hiccups. Why do they happen? And more importantly, what can you do to get rid of them?
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Centuries ago, people claimed hiccups meant a growth spurt for children. Today, we understand the mechanics of a hiccup: When the diaphragm — a muscle situated between the lungs and the stomach — becomes irritated, it begins to spasm. This spasm causes what is commonly known as hiccups.
Hiccups happen when there’s a disturbance in the nerve pathways that lead from the brain to the diaphragm. This helps explain why they sometimes occur during emotional situations or temperature changes.
They can also kick in after you swallow too much air, eat too quickly or too much, or experience excitement or anxiety. It is unclear if hiccups have a physiologic role. In the womb, hiccups may be a programmed exercise of the lungs to help with breathing. Other causes of hiccups may include acid reflux and drinking carbonated beverages.
The good news is that hiccups are usually short lived. If you have persistent hiccups that last for several days or more, see a doctor. This may indicate the presence of a medical issue that needs attention. Sometimes, certain diseases or even a medical procedure, especially those involving anesthesia, can cause prolonged bouts of hiccups.
You’ve probably heard about numerous remedies for curing hiccups, but none of these has any scientific basis, experts say. However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that an increase in carbon dioxide may help.
Holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag increases carbon dioxide levels in the lungs and may relax the diaphragm, stopping the spasms and, thus, the hiccups.
— Family medicine physician Daniel Allan, MD
Hiccups: Causes & Treatment
What are hiccups?
Hiccups are repeated spasms of your diaphragm paired with a ‘hic’ sound from your vocal cords closing. Your diaphragm is a muscle under your ribcage, separating your chest and stomach area. This muscle is an important part of the breathing process. It moves downward when you breathe in and upward when you breathe out.
Two things happen when you hiccup:
- Your diaphragm pulls down between breaths, making you suck in air.
- The glottis (space between the vocal cords) closes to stop more air coming in.
These actions make the ‘hic’ sound of the hiccup. The process of the hiccup happens very quickly and you’ll usually return to normal within minutes to a couple of hours without treatment.
Can hiccups happen to anyone?
Yes. Hiccups can happen to adults, children and babies.
Who commonly gets hiccups?
Hiccups are more common in men. They can also have hiccups for a longer period.
Symptoms and Causes
What causes hiccups?
It’s not clear why people get hiccups. There are several reasons hiccups might happen, including low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood and irritated nerves. The phrenic nerve (which connects the neck to the diaphragm) and vagus nerve (which connects the brain to the stomach) are important parts of the breathing process.
Mild hiccups (those that go away in a short time) can happen when you:
- Eat and drink too quickly.
- Drink carbonated beverages or alcohol.
- Eat too much.
- Experience stress – including fear and excitement.
- Over-stretch your neck.
- Take drugs (particularly those for anxiety – benzodiazepines).
- Drink a very hot or very cold drink.
- Go through chemotherapy.
- Are anesthetized for a procedure.
- Inhale toxic fumes.
What does it mean if the hiccups last for more than two days?
If your hiccups don’t go away within a few days, they are called ‘persistent.’ If they last for a few months they are called ‘intractable’ (long-lasting hiccups). Long-lasting hiccups are rare. They can be stressful and exhausting. Intractable hiccups can be part of a larger, underlying medical problem and might not go away until that issue is corrected.
Some of these larger, underlying conditions include:
- Cancer and tumors.
- Disorders of the stomach or esophagus, including GERD (a gastrointestinal and abdominal disorder).
- Pleurisy of the diaphragm.
- Bowel diseases.
- Pancreatitis and bladder irritation.
- Hepatitis and liver cancer.
- Tumors and lesions.
Hiccups can also happen after surgery and during the recovery process from a procedure. See a healthcare provider if your hiccups last for a long period of time.
Diagnosis and Tests
How are hiccups diagnosed?
Diagnosing hiccups is not complicated. Your healthcare provider needs only to listen to the ‘hic’ sound.
However, your healthcare provider may perform a physical examination to see if an underlying condition may be causing your hiccups. If the physical examination reveals anything of concern, he or she may order tests such as imaging tests, endoscopic tests and lab tests.
What questions might my healthcare provider ask?
- How long have you had hiccups?
- How often do you hiccup?
- Have you tried any home remedies to fix your hiccups?
- Are you interested in taking medication to fix your hiccups?
- Do you have GERD?
- Is there a history of cancer in your family? Strokes? Tumors?
- Are you experiencing any other symptoms?
Management and Treatment
How do I treat hiccups?
Because the exact cause of hiccups is uncertain, some remedies may or may not work. These home treatments will not hurt you, so there is typically no harm in trying them. Home treatments include:
- Drinking water quickly.
- Swallowing granulated sugar, dry pieces of bread, or crushed ice.
- Gently pulling on your tongue.
- Gagging (sticking a finger down your throat).
- Gently rubbing your eyeballs.
- Gargling water.
- Holding your breath.
- Breathing into a paper bag (do not use a plastic bag).
Are there any medications I can take for serious hiccups?
Hiccups that last for a long time can be treated by medication. Prescription drugs used for long-lasting hiccups include:
What are the side effects of long-term hiccups?
- Trouble eating.
- Trouble sleeping (including insomnia) and feeling tired.
- Some people feel embarrassed.
How do I stop my kid’s hiccups?
Babies get hiccups just like children, teenagers and adults. In fact, even babies in the womb can get hiccups! Babies under 12 months often get hiccups and they’re unharmed by them. If you want, you can try to stop them by breastfeeding or giving them some water. However, if the hiccups don’t stop after a couple of hours, see your healthcare provider.
Kids can try the home treatments listed above.
Never hesitate to contact your pediatrician if you have a concern about your child.
How are hiccups prevented?
Sometimes medications taken before a treatment can prevent hiccups from happening. For example, hiccups caused by anesthesia can be prevented by taking metoclopramide beforehand. Steroids with ramosetron might prevent chemotherapy-related hiccups.
Again, mild hiccups (those that go away in a short interval) can happen because of the following. Therefore, you may try to avoid the following to prevent hiccups from happening. Try not to:
- Eat and drink too quickly.
- Drink carbonated beverages or alcohol
- Eat too much.
- Experience stress – including fear and excitement.
- Over-stretch your neck.
- Take drugs (particularly those for anxiety – benzodiazepines).
- Drink a very hot or very cold drink.
- Go through chemotherapy.
- Are anesthetized for a procedure.
- Inhale toxic fumes.
Outlook / Prognosis
How long will I have hiccups?
Hiccups can last minutes, hours, days or, if severe, weeks. The longest known and recorded bout of hiccups lasted 60 years!
Can hiccups go away on their own?
Yes. Often no treatment is needed, either home remedies or treatment provided by your healthcare provider.
Can I live a normal life with hiccups?
Hiccups shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your daily activities.
When should I go see a healthcare provider?
If your hiccups last only minutes to a couple of hours, you probably don’t need to see your healthcare provider. However, if the hiccups last more than a few days (typically two), you should see him or her. When the hiccups happen at the same time as symptoms like a headache, trouble keeping your balance, or numbness, it can be a sign of something more serious. If you have those symptoms with hiccups, see your healthcare provider immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hiccups are usually harmless. Most stop without treatment, or with simple home remedies. They don’t reduce your quality of life. However, remember to keep an eye on how long they last. Hiccups may be a symptom of a serious illness, or they could just be annoying.
Hiccups occur as a result of the diaphragm suddenly involuntarily contracting. The diaphragm is the layer of muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities and plays an important role in controlling breathing. Tightening of the diaphragm causes the vocal cords to suddenly close, which results in the characteristic “hic” sound.
Illustration of diaphragm (yellow) in the body.
Hiccups are very common and affect almost everybody at some point in their lives. Often they occur in the absence of any trigger, although short episodes of hiccups have been linked to a number of causes such as drinking alcohol, eating large quantities of food, drinking fizzy or hot drinks, smoking, eating too quickly and becoming excited, stressed, or scared.
Hiccups generally pass after a few minutes/hours or occasionally, a day or two. In some cases, however, they can last for an extended period of time. Episodes that do not pass within two days and last for up to one month are referred to as “persistent” and in the rare case of them lasting for even longer than one month, they are referred to as “intractable.” The longest episode of hiccups that has even been recorded lasted for 60 years.
Hiccups that recur over long periods are also referred to as “chronic” and depending on how long chronic hiccups last, people may suffer from disrupted sleeping or eating patterns. This can lead to exhaustion, dehydration, and weight loss.
Nerve damage or irritation
The underlying cause of chronic hiccups is often unknown and the condition is not thought to be inherited, with most cases occurring sporadically in individuals who have no family history of the problem. The most common cause of chronic hiccups is nerve damage or irritation. More specifically, the vagus nerve or phrenic nerve may be affected, which are nerves that serve the diaphragm. Examples of problems that may affect these nerves include the following:
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Growth in the neck such as a tumor or cyst
- A hair touching the eardrum
Disorders of the central nervous system
A health problem that affects the central nervous system can interfere with the body’s ability to control the hiccup reflex. Some examples of these problems include the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Some examples of metabolic disorders that are associated with the development of chronic hiccups include:
- Kidney disorders
- Liver abnormality
- Electrolyte imbalance
The use of certain drugs is also associated with chronic hiccups and examples include:
- Short-acting barbiturates
Other health problems
Further examples of health problems that are associated with chronic hiccups include:
- Those that cause irritation to the diaphragm such as pneumonia, hiatal hernia, pleurisy, and pericarditis
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Psychological conditions such as hysteria or shock
Diagnosis and treatment
A doctor can usually diagnose a case of chronic hiccups based on symptoms, but a full physical examination may be required, along with a range of blood tests and imaging studies to establish the exact underlying cause. Treatment then depends on the cause and may include the following:
- Muscle relaxants
In rare cases, medication may not be sufficient to resolve chronic hiccups and surgery may be performed to block the phrenic nerve, which controls the diaphragm.
What Is a Hiccup?
A hiccup is an annoying spasm that happen when your diaphragm suddenly contracts. The diaphragm is a muscle in your chest that is responsible for helping your lungs expand and contract. When it suddenly moves unexpectedly, that’s when you experience hiccups.
The sudden movement of the diaphragm causes vocal cords to close suddenly, which is what causes the familiar “hic” noise. If you experience hiccups, you’re not alone. Everyone—from infants to the elderly—experience occasional hiccups.
Interestingly, some data indicate that hiccups occur more often in men than women, although scientists aren’t sure why.
AaronAmat / iStock / Getty Images
What Causes Hiccups?
The movement of your diaphragm, like all muscles, is controlled by neurological messages from your brain. The movement of the diaphragm is an involuntary movement—that’s why you don’t have to think about breathing, while you do need to think about moving your arm or shaking your head.
Scientists aren’t sure why the diaphragm sometimes spasms, causing hiccups. They do, however, know that certain things contribute to the hiccups and make them more likely to happen. A major cause of hiccups is things that you eat or drink, and how much. They include:
- Eating or drinking a lot; having a full stomach
- Carbonated drinks or alcohol
- Spicy foods
- Eating quickly
However, your eating habits can’t entirely explain why hiccups happen. The hiccups can also occur because you’re feeling nervous or excited. Some surgeries, medication, and medical conditions can also increase your risk for hiccups.
Oftentimes, hiccups happen for no reason at all. Getting the hiccups can be frustrating, but there’s nothing you did to cause them.
Are Hiccups a Symptom of COVID-19?
It’s possible that hiccups are associated with COVID-19, although they are not a primary symptom of the novel coronavirus. According to a study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, it’s possible that some COVID-19 patients who are otherwise asymptomatic present with persistent hiccups.
If you’re suddenly experiencing hiccups much more often than normal, it may be worth talking to your doctor about whether or not there’s a possible link to coronavirus.
How to Get Rid of Hiccups
Since we don’t know exactly what causes hiccups, there’s no way to say for sure how to get rid of them. One way to avoid the hiccups is by staying away from the foods listed above, or any foods that you find contribute to your hiccups.
When the hiccups do occur, they can seem impossible to get rid of. Many remedies focus on controlling breathing, but since the spasm of the diaphragm is an involuntary movement, you might find that there’s little you can do to stop it.
Still, many people try traditional remedies that may—or may not—work. These include:
- Slowly sipping a drink, like cold water
- Holding your breath
- Breathing into a paper bag or otherwise breathing in a slow, deliberate manner
- Stimulating the back of the neck or throat by rubbing it, or gargling.
Many people will also tell you to have someone scare you, but there’s no evidence that that will help with the hiccups.
What Are Chronic Hiccups?
In most cases, hiccups go away on their own after just a few minutes. So, although they may be embarrassing, they’re not harmful.
However, some people experience hiccups that just won’t go away. This is known as chronic hiccups. It’s not clear how many people experience chronic hiccups, but the condition is believed to be very rare.
Oftentimes, chronic hiccups are linked to an underlying health condition that causes the diaphragm to spasm frequently. The following conditions can contribute to the development of chronic hiccups:
- Pneumonia, or other diseases of the lungs that can irritate the diaphragm
- Brain abnormalities, like tumors, that can cause the brain to signal to the diaphragm to contract
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Mental illnesses, including personality disorders and anxieties
- Liver and kidney diseases
Depending on the cause of the hiccups, they can be treated with medicines ranging from muscle relaxers to sedatives.
Although chronic hiccups might sound silly, they’re a serious health condition. People who experience chronic hiccups sometimes find it difficult to eat or sleep. Chronic hiccups are closely associated with weight loss, exhaustion, irregular heartbeat, and reflux.
Coping With Hiccups
Getting hiccups at an inopportune moment—like when you’re on a work call or trying to make a presentation — can be very embarrassing. Luckily, hiccups are almost universal, so there’s no need to be embarrassed. Although it might not seem professional, almost everyone has experienced the hiccups at some point.
Although there aren’t any tried and true ways to get rid of the hiccups quickly, scientists believe that your emotional state can contribute to causing more hiccups. So, rather than getting flustered or upset, just ignore it or make a joke about your hiccups and move on. No one will be judging you for the hiccups.
A Word From Verywell
If you find yourself frequently getting hiccups that last for a long time, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Not only are frequent hiccups annoying, but they could be a warning sign about an underlying health condition. Getting medical attention for the hiccups might seem excessive, but if they’re interfering with your day-to-day life it’s time to talk to a doctor.
Hiccups – How to get rid of them
Click on the video above to see how you can stop hiccups
Hiccups – And How To Stop Them
Hiccups can be very annoying. We all know the old tricks of scaring someone suddenly or drinking a glass of water in an unusual position to try and stop them, but in this blog, we explore what they are, why you get them and some things you can try to stop or prevent hiccups. Luckily for most Hiccups does not affect your health.
So, just what are hiccups? Well, they’re sudden, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. As the muscle contracts repeatedly, the opening between the vocal cords snaps shut to check the inflow of air and makes the hiccup sound. Irritation of the nerves that extend from the neck to the chest can cause hiccups.Although associated with a variety of ailments (some can be serious such as pneumonia or when harmful substances build up in the blood for example from kidney failure), hiccups are not serious and have no clear reason for occurring.
What causes hiccups? Irritation of the nerves that extend from the neck to the chest can cause hiccups. Many conditions are associated with hiccups, but none has been shown to be the cause of them. Here are a few ways you can get them:
- If someone eats too fast, he or she can swallow air along with food and end up with the hiccups.
- Smokingor chewing gum also can cause a person to swallow air and get hiccups.
- Any other practices that might irritate the diaphragm such as eating too much (especially fatty foods) or drinking too much (alcoholor carbonated drinks) can make a person prone to having hiccups.
- In these instances, the stomach, which sits underneath and adjacent to the diaphragm, is distended or stretched. As they occur in relation to eating and drinking, hiccups are sometimes thought to be a reflex to protect a person from choking.
- Strokes or brain tumours involving the brain stem, and some chronic medical disorders (such as renal failure) are reported to cause hiccups; trauma to the brain, meningitis, and encephalitisalso may cause hiccups.
- Noxious fumes can also trigger hiccup symptoms.
- A baby may hiccup after crying or coughing. This is common in babies in the first year. In some instances, babies with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) could be more prone to hiccups.
- Anxiety and stresscan induce both short and long-term hiccups
Although many people find some of these tips on how to deal with hiccups useful, they may not work for everyone.
- breathe into a paper bag (don’t put it over your head!)
- pull your knees up to your chest and lean forward
- sip ice-cold water
- swallow some granulated sugar
- bite on a lemon or taste vinegar
- hold your breath for a short time
- do not drink alcoholic, fizzy or hot drinks
- do not chew gum or smoke – these can cause you to swallow air
- do not eat spicy food
- do not eat food very quickly
- do not eat or drink something very cold immediately after something hot
Hiccups are rarely a cause for concern, but if hiccups become frequent, chronic and persistent (lasting more then 3 hours), if they afftect sleeping patterns, interfere with eating, cause reflux of food or vomiting, occur with severe abdominal pain, fever, shortness of breath, spitting up blood or feeling as if the throat is going to close up see a doctor. Your GP will want to find out if your hiccups are caused by a health condition or medication you’re taking – treating the condition or changing your medicine should stop your hiccups.
If there’s no obvious cause, they might be able to prescribe medicine to treat your hiccups. This doesn’t work for everyone.
We hope you found this blog useful, please share it if you did – and look out for our vlog on hiccups coming to you soon!
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The Coda Team
90,000 causes of occurrence, under what diseases occurs, diagnostics and methods of treatment
The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication. In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For a diagnosis and correct prescription of treatment, you should contact your attending physician.
According to the International Classification of Diseases, hiccups are dealt with in the Abnormal Breathing section.In the mechanism of this involuntary physiological reaction, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles are involved, which, contracting convulsively, initiate a short breath, and the sudden closure of the airways by the epiglottis is accompanied by a characteristic sound.
If the duration of hiccups does not exceed 10-15 minutes, it is called short-term, or episodic. Sometimes hiccups last longer – up to two days, and then it is called persistent. Finally, an uncoupled one is possible, i.e.e. intractable persistent hiccups that lasts for two or more months. Only persistent or intractable hiccups is a reason to see a doctor, as it can be a symptom of diseases or injuries that cause convulsive contractions of the diaphragm. The function of the diaphragm is subordinated to the work of the nervous structures of the brain located in the medulla oblongata and hypothalamus. The diaphragm is innervated by two (right and left) phrenic nerves that originate in the neck (segments CIII – CIV).The cause of persistent and intractable hiccups is pathologies leading to damage to the structures of the reflex arc. Depending on the level of the lesion, central and peripheral hiccups are distinguished. Hiccups of central origin occur with damage to the brain and / or spinal cord, peripheral – with damage to the phrenic nerve, which can occur as a result of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system. There is another type of damage – toxic, which is caused by the effects of alcohol, nicotine, toxic metabolic products and drugs on the nerve endings.
Possible causes of hiccups
In adults, short hiccups serve as an evolutionarily developed mechanism aimed at displacing air from the stomach. The ingress of excess air into the stomach can be caused by improper and fast food intake, laughter, during which there is a series of sharp breaths. In addition, irritation of the vagus nerve, leading to hiccups, can be triggered by stomach overflow, hasty dry food, hypothermia. In young children, hiccups often occur as a result of air entering the stomach during feeding, as well as distension of the stomach due to overfeeding.If the hiccups stop after a few minutes, they don’t need much attention. However, with prolonged hiccups, a doctor’s consultation is necessary.
Prolonged intractable hiccups of central origin can occur with stroke of the brain in older people or in patients with vascular diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, prolonged hiccups can be a symptom of a brain tumor and its trunk. Cerebellar artery aneurysm can also lead to hiccups.Hiccups may indicate brain injury , accompanied by the formation of a hematoma.
Hiccups caused by irritation of peripheral nerves are a symptom of diseases such as hiatus hernia large (> 3 cm), neoplasms of the esophagus, pancreas and stomach . Persistent hiccups can be observed with pathologies of the cardiovascular system: myocardial infarction , heart rhythm disturbances, i.e.because they increase the excitability of the endings of the vagus nerve. Respiratory diseases, in particular laryngitis, bronchitis and pneumonia , as well as mediastinal tumors can cause hiccups due to irritation of the phrenic nerve. There is evidence of persistent hiccups in patients with herpes . In these cases, the pathological process starts the herpes virus, which multiplies in the nerve ganglia. The cause of hiccups can also be compression of the spinal root of the fourth cervical vertebra by hernia, as well as a tumor of the neck.Other factors causing prolonged hiccups include autoimmune diseases (neuromyelitis optic, multiple sclerosis), epilepsy, encephalitis, meningitis, Parkinson’s disease .
Toxic hiccups occur when metabolic disorders due to nerve damage to toxins that accumulate in the blood. Such hiccups can occur with diabetic neuropathy in diabetes mellitus, intoxication with uremia (the last stage kidney diseases ), electrolyte imbalance in hypocalcemia ( diseases of the parathyroid and thyroid glands ) and hypokalemia (Cushing’s syndrome, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).d. ). Toxic hiccups can develop with taking medications: antiparkinsonian drugs, drugs used in psychiatry, azithromycin (antibiotic), morphine. Chemotherapy drugs , used in the treatment of cancer patients, as well as drugs , administered under anesthesia , with epidural anesthesia, can also cause prolonged hiccups.
Diagnostics and examinations
The diagnostic algorithm for prolonged hiccups sometimes involves a complete examination of the patient to identify the cause of this pathological condition.The doctor conducts a thorough survey of the patient, specifies the names of the drugs taken by the patient, and evaluates the neurological status.
First of all, it is necessary to exclude cerebral stroke and myocardial infarction. For this, a consultation with a neurologist and a cardiologist is prescribed, as well as an MRI of the brain, an electrocardiogram, clinical and biochemical blood tests.
How to beat hiccups? – BBC News Russian Service
- Claudia Hammond
- BBC Future
Photo author, Thinkstock
Sticking out your tongue as much as possible – this also often helps
Holding your breath or try some more exotic and crude way? Correspondent
BBC Future talks about how to stop hiccups on your own and why these methods work.
As soon as someone starts to hiccup, everyone starts to scare the unfortunate person, offer him to hold his breath and give a lot of other advice. What are the ways to beat hiccups supported by scientific evidence?
Hiccups are a consequence of diaphragm spasm, causing air to flow into the lungs, which, in turn, causes a sharp closure of the vocal cords with a characteristic “hic” sound. There are more than a hundred reasons for hiccups – in most cases, quite harmless. For example, it can be medication-related – some anesthetics and steroids, drugs prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, and chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can provoke hiccups.But, as a rule, this is not the case. Laughter, alcohol abuse, or hastily swallowing food or soda can also lead to hiccups – and sometimes it even occurs on its own, without any reason.
It doesn’t do without extremes. It is believed that the world record for the duration of hiccups belongs to an American named Charles Osborne: an attack of hiccups began in 1922 (according to available data, at that time he was trying to weigh a pig), and stopped only 68 years later – in February 1990.
Fortunately, hiccups can usually be stopped using simpler methods – however, the debate over which one is the most effective is still ongoing.
The bulk of folk remedies affect one of two mechanisms. The first group includes methods aimed at increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, which is designed to weaken the spasm of the diaphragm, for example, holding your breath or breathing through a paper bag.
Sometimes these methods are effective, but scientists still do not really understand what their effect is.Some believe that this allows you to switch attention to the problem of increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide, while others suggest that it is the lack of this gas that is one of the causes of hiccups, therefore, its replenishment allows you to stop the attack.
An alternative way to combat hiccups is to stimulate the vagus nerve, which connects the head to the abdominal region and is responsible for coordinating breathing and swallowing. This nerve is involved in the hiccuping process, which can be interrupted by a certain action on the nerve, as a result of which it begins to send signals to the brain about the appearance of a new sensation.
This group includes tips for drinking water, chewing lemon or putting crushed ice in your mouth. To stimulate the vagus nerve, you can also stick out your tongue, insert your fingers into your ears, or apply light pressure to your eyeballs. In essence, this is an attempt to distract the body from the hiccups by switching attention to some unexpected event. Attempts to stop the hiccups by scaring the sufferer are based on the same logic.
Author of the photo, Thinkstock
There are also such radical means of fighting hiccups that are not suitable for use at home.Or is it just the opposite?
There is one more radical remedy, which, perhaps, is not suitable for use at home. It was introduced by Francis Fesmire, a professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine (USA). The essence of the method is clear from the title of his scientific work, published in 1988, – “Termination of intractable hiccups by massage of the rectum.”
It all started when a man came to the emergency room with a complaint of hiccups, which lasted for three days with an interval of two seconds.The doctor forced the patient to open his mouth wide, pressed on his eyeballs, but nothing helped. After trying all the remedies, Fesmire remembered the material he read last year about how the doctor managed to stop the accelerated heartbeat in a 71-year-old woman by inserting a finger into her anus. This remedy also helped the hiccuping patient.
However, having received a parody Shnobel Prize for his discovery, Fesmire said that the same effect, most likely, can be achieved through orgasm, and most patients would probably prefer this method.Both of these approaches also aim to stimulate the vagus nerve.
Most of the folk remedies for getting rid of hiccups do not really have scientific evidence. However, the mechanisms on which they are based are consistent with our knowledge of her physiology; moreover, all of these methods are considered harmless. None of them are universal, which is why they are so numerous, but all of them are not just idle fiction. Start to hiccup – feel free to try any of them.
Limitation of Liability. All information contained in this article is for general information only and should not be considered as an alternative to the advice of your healthcare professional or other healthcare professional. The BBC is not responsible for the information posted on external sites linked to in this article and does not endorse any commercial products or services mentioned or recommended on any of these sites. If you have any health problems, contact your physician immediately.
13 facts about hiccups
Here’s what you probably don’t know about hiccups.
Each of us has ever faced a hiccup that appears, according to the law of meanness, at the wrong time. Hiccups are caused by spasms in the diaphragm, which can occur for a variety of reasons. But hiccups can appear for no reason. Hiccups are a very unpleasant thing, but, fortunately, they can hardly be life threatening. We have collected for you the most interesting facts about this nonspecific dysfunction of external respiration, which you may not know.
Derived from the Latin word singult, which means “catch your breath while sobbing.”
Step One – A muscle spasm that forces you to suck in a lot of air. Step two is an almost immediate closure of your airways, which blocks that air, causing a hiccup noise.
The muscles that cause the spasm are mainly located in the diaphragm (top). The skin that blocks the airway to your lung is called the glottis.It closes about 35 milliseconds after you suck in all that air.
Why? This is a kind of mystery that worries many scientists.
5. Ultrasound has shown that even unborn children who are in the womb have hiccups
6. Nobody knows for sure why hiccups exist
7.Some scientists think it is a holdover from our deep evolutionary past
There are two separate hypotheses here. The first is about the initial muscle spasm that starts the hiccups. The idea is that because the nerves have such a long distance to travel from the brainstem to the diaphragm, sometimes their paths cross and accidentally spasm. Scientists argue that this remains of the fact that, deep in our evolutionary history, these muscles were intended to control the gills of our fish ancestors, which were much closer to the brain stem.
The second idea concerns airway closure. Many scientists believe it is a holdover from our amphibian ancestors, who needed a quick response to keep water from entering the lungs when switching between gill and pulmonary respiration.
8. Another idea suggests that hiccups are actually a way to prepare the fetus for breathing after birth by exercising its muscles
9. And there are those medical scientists who think that hiccups help children to regurgitate food
Many scientists believe that belching hiccups allow babies to remove air from their stomachs to make room for milk.
Persistent hiccups (lasting more than 48 hours) can sometimes be a serious health problem. It is worth noting that hiccups are not only annoying, but can also indicate the presence of a disease, ranging from stomach ulcers to malaria.
11. There are many effective home remedies available to help with hiccups
To get rid of hiccups, it is necessary to change the chemical composition of the blood.For example, you can do it like this: swallow water or ice quickly, hold your breath, and breathe out of a paper bag or sack.
An increase in the level of CO 2 in the blood actually increases its acidity. This leads to the release of calcium ions in the blood. Calcium ions can block some of the activity of the nervous system that can relax or block muscle spasms, including hiccups.
12. Despite the mysteriousness of hiccups, we know what can lead to its appearance
Some causes include too much gas in the stomach, fast food, sodas and stress.These things can irritate the esophagus, which often leads to hiccups.
13. Here is one ~ SCARY ~ video that can cure you of some types of hiccups:
This is a video of an early computer game that, although it looks horribly ugly today, for some reason, this video has an impressive ability to get rid of hiccups.
Many people argue that experiencing shock or fear can help cure a hiccup.While there is no hard scientific evidence to support why this might work, some scientists believe it might work, effectively distracting your brain from sending out the signals that cause muscle spasms and causing you to gasp, triggering normal breathing patterns.
The next time you have hiccups, take a moment to think about what a wonderful scientific puzzle
90,000 Where does hiccups come from and how to get rid of them
Each of us from time to time encounters hiccups – even babies in the womb can hiccup! By the way, we all hiccup in different ways: someone’s diaphragm contracts four times, and someone’s – 60 times a minute.Yes, and an attack of hiccups can last as long as you like – from a few seconds to several hours in a row. Moreover, science knows a case when a man hiccupped without stopping for 68 years in a row. This is Charles Osborne from Iowa – the man who entered the Guinness Book of Records as the person with the longest bout of hiccups. But where does hiccups come from and can you get rid of it? And, if possible, how? Let’s tell.
How hiccups occur
Photo: derneuemann / pixabay.com
When we hiccup, our diaphragm and intercostal muscles contract involuntarily.At this moment we inhale sharply – the sound “and” is obtained. Then the laryngeal slit closes, and the same “hic” comes out.
Scientists believe that hiccups can cause irritation in any of the internal organs: stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, lungs or kidneys. This is because they are all connected to the diaphragm by the so-called reflex chain of the vagus and phrenic nerves. And most often the stomach becomes the “hero of the occasion” – after all, it is he who is located directly under the diaphragm.If the stomach is full of food or gas, the vagus or phrenic nerves become agitated and cause hiccups. And the risks are especially high if there is carbonated mineral water or ordinary sweet soda in the stomach.
But in fact, an attack can occur from any action that irritates your digestive organs and respiratory tract. Spicy food, eating too quickly, smoking, drinking alcohol, finally taking medication, loud laughter, and even shaving your neck can all make you hiccup for hours.In addition, hiccups can haunt you due to stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, micronutrient deficiencies, or poor posture. Less commonly, it occurs due to pneumonia, tumors in the brain, stomach or lungs, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
How do you get rid of it?
Photo: rawpixel / pixabay.com
If you get hiccups on a regular basis, gastroenterologists advise looking for the root cause. For example, temporarily stop drinking soda, spicy foods, or just eat less.Finally, control your breathing when you laugh or overreact to events.
When you need to get rid of hiccups here and now, you can try one of the common practices: hold your breath or breathe in a paper bag. Both of these methods are based on the assumption that raising the carbon dioxide level in the blood will help stop the attack.
Another group of methods involves the stimulation of the phrenic and vagus nerves. These are attempts to scare the hiccuping person, give him a crust of bread or crushed ice, pull his tongue or press on his eyes – the main thing is not to overdo .And one of the scientific studies, awarded the Shnobel Prize, showed that you can stop hiccups by palpating the rectum.
If all else fails, the patient may be prescribed a sedative or anticonvulsant. Or even inject pain relievers along the phrenic and vagus nerves. Finally, a neuromodulating device can be implanted to stimulate the vagus nerve. True, the side effects of such procedures can be even worse than the hiccups itself.
You ask : If hiccups can be cured, why did Charles Osborne hiccup for 68 years and do nothing? In fact, in one of his interviews, he admitted that he tried a variety of methods and visited many doctors, but nothing helped him. And once Osborne’s friend even fired a shotgun behind him. He was really scared, but the hiccups stopped only a year before the death of the unfortunate man, in 1990. By the way, all this time he did not sit still – the record holder managed to get married and have children.
Earlier, we talked about the reasons for heartburn and how to cope with it.
Based on materials from newochem.io.
90,000 Treatment of hiccups in an adult in Yekaterinburg
Hiccups are an involuntary process associated with contraction of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. It can be physiological and goes away on its own, but it can be pathological, caused by a disease.
Classification and causes
Hiccups occur due to a reflex motor act involving the diaphragm, which is located on the border of the chest and abdominal cavity.Outwardly, it looks like a membrane involved in breathing. Due to the contraction of the diaphragm, air flows from the environment to the lungs and back.
The work of this organ is controlled by the vagus and phrenic nerves. When they are irritated, a nerve impulse appears that goes to the cerebral cortex, signaling the need for contraction of the diaphragmatic muscles. This causes an extraordinary sharp exhalation through the narrow glottis. This accelerated air flow is the cause of the characteristic sound.
In terms of duration, hiccups are subdivided into:
- episodic, which lasts no more than 10-15 minutes,
- persistent with symptoms for 2 days,
- for uncorkable duration more than 2 months.
Intermittent hiccups are normal. It occurs due to improper diet, quick snacks, bloating, eating very cold or hot food, stress, and excessive swallowing of air through the mouth.
With pathological hiccups, it is subdivided according to the localization of the lesion. Central occurs after an acute disturbance of cerebral circulation, with tumors, trauma or inflammation of the brain. Peripheral is associated with damage to the phrenic nerve and its branches.It occurs when it is squeezed by scar tissue, with hiatal hernia (HH), tumors of the stomach or pancreas.
The same symptoms are caused by diseases of the heart and blood vessels – myocardial infarction, significant rhythm disturbances. The phrenic nerve is involved in lung diseases – pneumonia, bronchitis.
The use of certain medications, significant concomitant diseases such as diabetes mellitus, various intoxications: alcohol or smoking, metabolic disorders such as hypocalcemia also lead to hiccups.
There are many reasons for this symptom, so you first need to conduct a thorough diagnosis of the patient, find out where the lesion is located or is it a physiological process.
An anamnesis of the disease, physical examination data, as well as laboratory and instrumental examination methods play an important role in finding the cause of hiccups. The patient needs to be told how long he has been worried about the existing symptoms, the possible features of their occurrence, whether he went to the doctor or whether breathing was restored on its own.
Additionally, the doctor will prescribe:
- general and biochemical blood test,
- if necessary, ECG, X-ray or CT of the chest,
- EGD, MRI of the brain,
- Lumbar puncture for suspected neuroinfection.
These studies will be enough to identify the lesion, to establish the cause of the hiccups.
If the hiccups are episodic, go away on their own, and the patient has no other accompanying symptoms, then in this case, no medical intervention is performed.You can use a number of physiological methods to get rid of hiccups. All of them are aimed at breaking the pathological reflex arc.
Such activities often help – to breathe in a bag, hold your breath, lightly press on the eyeballs, bring the legs to the stomach, press a little on the chest. Symptoms disappear in a couple of minutes if you hold a piece of ice or lemon in your mouth.
In a different situation, depending on the cause, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment. Muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antiarrhythmics, and other drugs aimed at etiological treatment of the disease can be used as drug therapy.
In case of significant HH with the presence of complications or tumor lesions of the brain, digestive tract organs, surgical intervention may be required.
Prevention and prognosis
You can prevent the appearance of physiological hiccups by observing the following rules. It is necessary to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner slowly, chewing thoroughly, which will exclude excessive swallowing of air. Also, you should not eat dry, too cold or hot food.
It is necessary to undergo regular examination by a doctor so as not to miss any disease. Avoid hypothermia or dehydration. Follow the principles of a balanced diet.
With regard to working capacity and life, the prognosis is favorable. Hiccups are not a threatening condition, if you do not consider the intractable form. However, it can disrupt sleep, daily activities, dehydration, chronic fatigue, weight loss, and starvation.
In most cases, hiccups are a physiological reflex that does not require medical intervention, does not threaten the life or health of the patient. However, it is worth paying attention to this symptom. With prolonged attacks, you do not need to self-medicate, but you should consult a doctor for a thorough diagnosis and a full examination, so as not to miss a serious illness.
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30 effective ways to get rid of hiccups
Hiccups seem to be a completely harmless phenomenon, but at the same time it causes terrible discomfort.Manifestations are observed in both adults and children. Moreover, it seems that this is happening for no reason at all. To get rid of hiccups, there are several effective tips that MedicForum talks about.
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Why we hiccup
The mechanism of formation of hiccups has to do with the contractions of the diaphragm when a person breathes.As a rule, this happens imperceptibly and smoothly. But when irritation occurs due to spasm, the air movement becomes intermittent, and is also accompanied by a characteristic sound. Scientists say that this phenomenon is directly related to the presence of gill respiration in the most ancient human ancestors. For example, convulsive breathing is observed in amphibians.
A person has two types of hiccups – prolonged (pathological) and episodic (physiological). The first one speaks of certain disorders in the human body and occurs constantly.But the physiological one appears only occasionally, passes by itself or requires very simple actions to eliminate it. Such hiccups do not harm a person in any way.
As a rule, it is caused for a number of reasons:
- Spasm of the diaphragm muscles, which occurs as a result of severe hypothermia of the body;
- Eating dry food that fills the stomach too much. This interferes with the contractions of the respiratory muscles;
- Alcohol abuse, regular consumption in large quantities;
- Carbonated drinks that fill the stomach with air, irritating the diaphragm;
- Severe fear, due to which tension is formed in all muscles of a person, including the respiratory ones.
- You can talk about pathological hiccups if it lasts more than two days. This indicates some kind of serious violation. For example:
- Infections, including chickenpox, flu, and so on;
- Disorders of the nervous system or psychological factors which are associated with a stressful situation;
- Diseases of the digestive system;
- Diabetes, allergies, hormonal disruptions;
- Disturbances in the work of the respiratory organs after surgery and during the recovery period.
In this case, a person needs to undergo a comprehensive examination, since hiccups do not always speak of a specific pathology, it can be a concomitant symptom.
Methods for getting rid of hiccups
There is still no medicine for hiccups. And here are the folk methods of a wagon and a small cart. Sometimes it is generally quite simple to distract the hiccuping person with something or thoughts, and the problem will disappear by itself. The whole reason for this phenomenon is that a person during hiccups is focused on this process, therefore, when distracted, he forgets that he should hiccup, straining his respiratory muscles, which immediately relax when distracted.
Hiccups are easy to eliminate for physiological reasons. To do this, you can use any of the following methods. Here are collected both breathing exercises and folk remedies.
1. Close your eyes and massage them with your fingers.
2. Click on the active points above the collarbone.
3. Place your index fingers on your ears, gently press and twist to activate the middle ear nerve.
4.Bring your knees to your chest and sit in this position for 5-7 minutes.
5. Exhale slowly, while squeezing the little finger in the middle of the finger.
6. Stick your index finger down your throat, but not too deeply – this can provoke vomiting.
7. Squeeze the junction of the clavicle and sternum with your fingers.
8. Cool the earlobe with cold water.
9. Hold your breath, squeezing the little finger and thumb at the same time on the left and right hand.
10. Take a few small sips of water from the glass, leaning forward.
11. Stand in the swallow position and raise your head as high as possible.
12. For hiccups caused by overeating, take small sips of water from a whole glass. This will remove irritation from the nerve.
Foto: PantherMedia / Scanpix
13. Inhale hot peppers to induce sneezing, which will stop the hiccups.
14. Sit for a few seconds with your tongue out.
15. Look for a few seconds at the blade of the knife, brought close to the nose. You need to perform this method without blinking.
16. Apply a red cloth bandage to the lower part of the forehead to divert attention from the hiccups to another stimulus.
17. Inhale, tilt your head back, hold your breath for a short time, then exhale and quickly drink some water in small sips.
18. Breathe slowly and deeply. This will relieve tension from the respiratory organs.
19. Hold your breath after inhaling as long as you can.
20. Breathe into the paper bag until there is enough air.
21. Place a lemon or orange slice under your tongue and suck it for a few minutes.
22. Slowly chew a small slice of brown bread.
23. If you have hiccups due to hypothermia, you should drink something warm. Water or tea is great.
24. Suck on a regular lollipop.
25. But instead of a drink, you can use a sugar cube dipped in apple cider vinegar or table vinegar. Do not overdo it so as not to burn the mucous membranes.
25. You can make a paste from dry mustard and table vinegar, grease your tongue with it and hold for a minute. We warn you right away, you will feel a strong burning sensation. But then you need to thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water to get rid of the excess of such a paste.
26. Warm up the diaphragm with mustard plaster or rub the area of the neck with oregano oil.
27. You can drink an infusion of hiccups, which copes well with hiccups.
28. Drink a teaspoon of olive oil – it is great for relieving cramps.
29. Make an infusion of dill seeds. With its help, you can effectively get rid of hiccups.
30. Hiccups also occur after excessive alcohol consumption. In this case, the best remedy would be to cleanse the body with vomiting.
Hiccups after eating
This pathology is an unpleasant, but not fatal deviation from the norm.This process arises from the reflex contraction of the diaphragm, which provokes a more gusty inhalation of atmospheric air and a very rapid closure of the vocal cords, which are regulators of the volume of gas passing through the larynx. This process is accompanied by a fairly specific, all recognizable sound. Most often hiccups appear after eating . In this article, we will try to deal with this problem and find ways to stop it.
Causes of hiccups after eating
Spasm of the diaphragm – this process can bring a lot of unpleasant sensations and causes of hiccups after eating may be different, but they are all associated with increased irritation of the nerve receptors of the vagus and sympathetic nerves “serving” the diaphragm.
It will not be superfluous not only for medical workers, but also for an ordinary person to know what are causes of hiccups after eating :
- One of the sources of this discomfort is diseases of the cerebral cortex, affecting the areas that are responsible for the respiratory centers.
- Diseases affecting nerve endings extending from brain cells.
- Overeating can provoke the manifestation of hiccups.
- This may be the reaction of the human body to a specific food product, for example, hot spices, certain plant components with a specific smell.
- Hypothermia can also provoke hiccups, mainly in young children.
- Hiccups can be caused by too cold or, conversely, hot dishes.
- Incorrect diet: food in “dry water”, food “on the go”.
- The causes of hiccups after eating may be associated with the individual characteristics of the body.
- Hiccups can also be one of the symptoms of a more severe pathology, for example, myocardial infarction.
- Tumor of the digestive tract, both benign and malignant.
- Multiple diseases of the central nervous system.
- Pneumonia may cause hiccups after eating.
- Uremia – poisoning of the body with products of protein metabolism due to impaired renal function.
- Herniated disc.
- Increased intracranial pressure.
- Gastritis is an inflammatory process or dystrophic changes in the mucous membrane inside the stomach.
- Consequence of a nervous tic.
- Hiccups after eating may appear in the postoperative period if surgery has affected the spine or gastrointestinal tract.
- Neoplasms affecting the spinal cord.
- Intravenous anesthesia with Brietal (sodium methohexital) can cause unpleasant reflexology.
- This reflex can also be provoked by some everyday reasons, which can be of a periodic nature.
- The mood of the person with whom he sits at the table can influence the occurrence of the discomfort in question. Both a depressed and overly agitated state negatively affect the digestion process.
- The cause of hiccups after eating may be neurotic in nature. For example, the excitement before an important exam, a speech in front of a full house.
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Encephalitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain.
- But not only diaphragm spasm can provoke hiccups, but also muscle contractions affecting the esophagus. Stagnant food may be the cause of this process.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Ignoring basic dietary rules: talking while eating, poor chewing of food, swallowing large portions, reading books and newspapers, watching TV or working on a computer, together with the consumption of food. Diffusion of attention on several things at once leads to poor digestion of food, and hence to hiccups.
- Eating in an unnatural position for the digestive tract, when it is difficult to move food along the aisle.
- Meningitis is an inflammatory process that affects the brain.
By itself, hiccups are harmless, but they can be an indicator that the body has malfunctioned. And if such attacks become more frequent, this fact should not be ignored, because it can speak of the development of a rather severe pathology in the body. And how quickly it will be detected and adequate measures taken depends on the future fate and life of a person.
Why hiccups start after eating
Probably, there is no person on Earth who would not be bothered by hiccups at least once in his life. It causes a lot of discomfort, but does not threaten human health. If hiccups appear one-time and rarely enough, then there is no pathology in this case. A little patience and within 1-3 minutes the attack will pass on its own, it will be enough to drink a few sips of water. So why does hiccups start after eating?
This question is asked by many, trying to find the answer to it on their own.The main reason for this pathological manifestation is irritation of the nerve endings of the diaphragm, less often – irritation of the walls of the esophagus. Under normal conditions, the diaphragm functions at its normal rhythm. Inhale – it “goes” down, allowing the breathing apparatus to take in the required amount of air. Exhale – the diaphragm rises, pushing carbon dioxide out of the human body. If it is irritated, the rhythm of the work gets lost, and it starts to move in jerks. The portions of the incoming air are different.A sharp intake of a portion of air into the larynx, which is then fed to the vocal cords, and we get a characteristic, well-known, sound.
But this is the direct source of the occurrence of hiccups, and the reasons provoking him to take this step are quite diverse. Sometimes it is enough to drink soda water, and hiccups are provided – it all depends on the individual characteristics of the human body. Even in a healthy person, if you do not take stopping measures, this unpleasant process can last from five minutes to half an hour.
If the hiccups do not go away longer, you should seek the advice of a qualified doctor, since such symptoms may indicate a serious pathology in the patient.
There is also a conditional division of the arisen hiccups: reflex attacks are called episodic, which are caused by various living conditions. Prolonged hiccups are called seizures caused by one of the diseases of organic origin, while the transformation of one type into another does not occur.
Hiccups after eating in adults
This somewhat uncomfortable process is familiar to every person from an early age and, often, it is not taken seriously. “Someone remembers,” some will say. But if hiccups after eating in adults occurs sporadically (celebrating a birthday the day before or going out with friends to barbecue), then there is no point in worrying, next time you just need to monitor the quantity and quality of food consumed and there will be no problems with hiccups.
Reflex sharp contraction of the diaphragm is a physiological process. And there must be a good reason for it to happen. And if this reason is similar to the one voiced above, then, indeed, it is advisable to monitor what and how you eat, not to overeat or overcool. But, if, after analyzing the situation preceding the onset of hiccups after eating in adults, the person himself cannot determine the cause of its appearance, and the attacks do not go away for a long time, then one should not joke with such symptoms.The hiccups itself will not harm the human body, except that it will deliver a few unpleasant minutes (or hours) to its owner, but it can signal a deeper and more serious pathology that affects his body.
If the body of an adult is healthy, and hiccups get it quite often, one of the main reasons for this pathology, doctors call constant overeating and hence the elongation of the walls of the stomach. This fact causes hiccups in nine out of ten hiccups.Therefore, nutritional culture is very important, which must be instilled in a person from an early age.
Hiccups after eating a child
A small child’s body is so vulnerable and reacts to any external or internal stimulus. Especially often, parents have to observe hiccups in their babies, thinking that the child is simply overcooled. But hiccups after eating in a child can also occur for other reasons. What are they and is there a need to sound the alarm about this?
Many young mothers are interested in the question: “Why does the baby hiccup and is it possible to help him get rid of hiccups faster?” Pediatricians explain this reflex physiological process by the fact that, under the influence of certain factors, the epiglottis spasms, preventing oxygen from passing normally through the respiratory tract.In this case, the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm of the chest begin to contract incorrectly, from where such a familiar characteristic sound arises.
If it is cool in the room or on the street and the baby begins to hiccup, do not rush to wrap him up – simply, due to the imperfection of thermoregulatory abilities, his body begins to adapt to the conditions surrounding him. A short period of time will be enough for the hiccups to go away on their own.
But most often you can observe hiccups after eating in a child.There are several reasons for this:
- The digestive tract, like the baby’s body, is not yet perfect and continues to grow and develop.
- During the feeding process, it is necessary to ensure that the child chews food well.
- Due to their innate activity, many babies continue to spin around the table, in parallel with eating, doing a lot of other actions. At the same time, his attention is scattered, distracted from the process of eating. In such a situation, the stomach is not ready for work, which provokes hiccups.
- It is worth making sure that the baby does not chat while eating. Together with food, he also swallows portions of air, which, trying to leave the child’s body, lead to spasm of muscle tissues and vocal cords.
- Foods that are too dry should not be given to a child. A sandwich or a few biscuits eaten outdoors can make your child hiccup.
- A baby can also hiccup from drinking fizzy drinks.
If a small child or schoolchild is prone to hiccups, it would not be superfluous to consult a pediatrician.If the cause of the uncomfortable condition is any domestic factors, it is enough to exclude them from the baby’s life and the problem will be solved. If you cannot eliminate them, then you should try to keep the intensity of the stimulus to a minimum. It is likely that the child will grow up and this problem will go away by itself.
But if the hiccups have organic roots, then it is urgently necessary to fully examine the baby so as not to miss any serious illness at an early stage.In any case, brushing off the problem and self-medicating is not worth it. After all, children are not always able to say what worries them.
Hiccups in a newborn after eating
Sometimes pregnant women feel rhythmic pulsations in their abdomen. Asking a question to the obstetrician-gynecologist, usually, she gets the answer that it is just her baby hiccups. Doctors know that the fetus, while still in the sixth to eighth week of development, can already get hiccups.
After the baby is born, this problem does not go away, making young parents worry.Many of them believe that with hiccups, their baby begins to experience discomfort, pain symptoms, but pediatricians are in a hurry to assure such that hiccups do not bring any discomfort to the baby. The causes of this reflex process can be different, but most often hiccups occur in a newborn after eating.
This feeding result can be:
- If the baby is very active and “avidly” eats, simultaneously swallowing portions of air, which then try to leave the body.
- A similar situation arises and if a young mother has too much milk, it flows quite actively and the child just tries to have time to swallow it all. In this situation, the mother should express some milk before feeding. But you shouldn’t be too zealous. The more breast milk you drain, the more the woman’s body will produce for the next feeding.
- Another point that can provoke hiccups in a newborn may be that after eating, the baby’s stomach is full and begins to press on the diaphragm, which triggers the hiccups mechanism.
- If artificial feeding is used, the hiccups may be caused by a too large hole in the nipple.
Reflex spasms are not entirely harmless, they can cause the baby to regurgitate profusely, and in some cases even vomit, it prevents him from falling asleep, which quickly depletes the child’s nervous system. Frequent hiccups, immediately after a meal, should alert a young mother, perhaps she is feeding her child incorrectly, or there may be another, more serious reason.But only a specialist can answer this question.
Diagnosis of hiccups after eating
If the problem in question begins to bother a child or an adult, then you should not postpone it with a trip to the doctor. Diagnosis of hiccups after eating includes:
- Analysis of patient complaints. The doctor is interested in how long ago the hiccups appeared, how often, intensively and for a long time it gets the patient.
- The doctor is looking into the history. He is especially interested in the presence of diabetes mellitus, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and pathologies that provoke an increase in blood glucose levels.
- If necessary, the patient will have to consult a psychiatrist, neurologist, surgeon and / or gastroenterologist.
Treatment of hiccups after eating
Hiccups, as a symptomatology, are not specific in nature, clearly indicating a specific disease. If there are isolated cases of its occurrence, then there is no need to introduce any therapeutic treatment. The specialist can only advise the patient to reconsider his attitude to the regimen and quality of food.If an attack does occur, doctors advise in this situation to take a few sips of water or, taking a deep breath, hold the exhale for as long as the person can withstand.
If we turn to the experience of our ancestors, then there you can find many simple, but quite effective advice.
- If an attack of hiccups has begun, then you can take a piece of sour or bitter fruit (grapefruit, lemon, others) in your mouth, lemon juice or a little diluted vinegar will do.
- Drink a large cup of water in small sips after meals. Drink should be slow, measured. If this technique is not very effective, you can do the same, only tilting the torso forward (as if reaching for an outstretched hand).
- Less pleasant, but no less effective is the method when, by pressing on the tongue at its base, a gag reflex is triggered.
If an organic pathology was diagnosed, then the treatment of hiccups after eating includes therapy aimed at stopping the disease that causes discomfort.For example, if the cause of hiccups lies in a pathological violation of the integrity of the walls or contents of the stomach (gastritis), then the gastroenterologist will write down the full course of treatment for this disease. If the source of hiccups is meningitis, then a neuropathologist prescribes effective measures of complex therapy.
Medical statistics show that quite often the cause of hiccups is an increased distension of the gastric walls and an excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the patient’s blood.It is sometimes sufficient to remove such gases from the digestive tract. For this, drugs are prescribed that relax the muscles of the esophageal valve. These can be mint drops, motilium, domperidone, cerucal, metoclopramide, or domrid.
Cerucal is recommended to be taken half an hour before meals. An adult patient is prescribed a dosage – one tablet three to four times throughout the day. For adolescents who have already turned 14 years old, the amount of the drug administered is determined by the dose from half to a whole tablet, taken two to three times throughout the day.If necessary, the dosage can be increased, but it should not exceed two tablets (20 mg) or six tablets per day at a time.
Based on the clinical picture, the attending physician may prescribe the introduction of this drug in the form of intramuscular and intravenous injections.
For adults and children over 14 years old, one to three times a day, one ampoule, the volume of which is 10 mg.
Children from two years to 14 years old – the recommended amount is calculated as 0.1 mg of the drug per kilogram of the baby’s weight.If the therapeutic efficacy requires large doses, they can be increased, but the maximum dosage should not exceed the daily figure of 0.5 mg per kilogram of the child’s body weight.
This drug is contraindicated for use if the patient has increased individual intolerance to the component composition of the drug, as well as if there is a history of intestinal obstruction or perforation, pheochromocytoma, internal bleeding, a tendency to epileptic seizures, convulsions, hypersensitivity to sulfites, bronchial asthma.You should not prescribe the drug to women in the first trimester of pregnancy or during breastfeeding of a newborn baby and children under two years of age.
Muscle relaxants such as baclosan, baclofen and lyorezal are also used to “fight” hiccups.
Baclofen is injected into the body with food intake. The starting dosage is determined in the amount of 5 mg (one tablet) or half a tablet with a concentration of 10 mg of the active substance, taken three times throughout the day.Then the dosage begins to increase at intervals of three days. Adult patients are usually given an increase of 30 to 75 mg daily.
If there is a need to use high therapeutic doses (from 0.075 to 0.1 g), it will be easier to drink tablets with a concentration of 25 mg of the active substance. The maximum allowable daily amount of the drug is 0.1 g.
For children aged one to two years, the daily dosage is prescribed in the range of 10 – 20 mg.
For babies from two to six, the daily dosage is prescribed in the range of 20 – 30 mg.
For children from six to ten years old, the daily dosage is determined in the range of 30-60 mg.
For adolescents over ten years old, the calculation of the daily dosage is carried out according to the formula 1.5 – 2 mg per kilogram of the child’s weight.
A contraindication to taking the drug is the patient’s tendency to epileptic seizures, with Parkinson’s disease, in case of increased intolerance to the components of the drug, as well as in the chronic form of kidney dysfunction.
With increased caution, it is necessary to prescribe this drug if the patient has a history of cerebrovascular insufficiency, atherosclerotic lesions of the cerebral vessels, with ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
To cope with hiccups, the attending physician can introduce dimethicone, gascon drop, zeolate into the treatment protocol.
Dimethicone is classified as a group of adsorbents.The drug is recommended to be used one or two tablets after each meal and immediately before going to bed. Or one tablespoon of the drug in the form of a gel, taken before meals three to six times throughout the day.
Contraindications for dimethicone include only hypersensitivity to its component composition. If an allergic reaction occurs, the drug should be discontinued by prescribing another drug in this group, for example, corticosteroids.
If the hiccups are particularly persistent, the attending physician has to introduce antipsychotic drugs into the therapy protocol, which effectively affect the reflexive centers in the patient’s cerebral cortex. For example, chlorpromazine, chlorpromazine, or haloperidol may be prescribed.
The neuroleptic chlorpromazine is injected into the patient’s body before meals. In this case, the minimum recommended dosages are prescribed – one to three tablets, taken two to three times throughout the day.If necessary, the dosage can be gradually increased. The duration of the drug intake is determined by the treating doctor individually.
Contraindications for taking this group of drugs are quite extensive and are covered in more detail in the instructions attached to the medicine. But the main limitations are hypersensitivity to chlorpromazine and / or other components of chlorpromazine, severe renal and / or hepatic dysfunction, impairment in the hematopoietic organs, disorders affecting the spinal cord or brain, acute phase of traumatic brain injury, severe stage of cardiovascular pathologies, cholelithiasis and urolithiasis, thromboembolism, myxedema, angle-closure glaucoma and some other pathologies.This drug should not be prescribed to women during pregnancy or lactation, as well as to children whose age has not reached one year.
But since in nine cases out of ten the patient has an elongation of the walls of the stomach, which is a consequence of excessive food intake, the first thing the doctor recommends is to revise his diet and diet.
Prevention of hiccups after eating
This reflex discomfort is of both physiological and psychological genesis, therefore, prevention of hiccups after eating includes simple but effective tips to protect a person’s body in both these directions.
- The first and most relevant advice is to follow a food culture:
- Do not overeat.
- Servings should be small and meals should be frequent.
- While eating, you should not talk, read newspapers, watch TV, play computer games.
- Food must be thoroughly chewed.
- You should not eat “on the go” and “dry food”.
- The atmosphere of the meal should be calm.You should not sit down to eat if a person is excited or, conversely, depressed.
- If hiccups after eating appeared due to worries about an upcoming important event, you should try to calm down and turn your attention to another subject.
- You can find your own, individual method to distract yourself, for example, tie a bright ribbon on your wrist or draw a funny face on the inside of your palm, and, if necessary, look at it.
- Some are trying to scare the hiccup. This should not be done. A person (both a child and an adult) runs the risk of getting a mental disorder instead of hiccups.
- A simple exercise will also help to calm down: you need to take a deep breath and try not to exhale, as long as you have patience, then slowly, slowly, exhale. At the same time, it would not hurt to divert your thoughts to something pleasant.
- If a responsible event is planned, the prevention of hiccups after meals can be a sedative medication.It can be a pill of any sedative or a simple tea made from lemon balm, valerian, thyme, motherwort and other herbs that have sedative effects. You can hold a glycine tablet under your tongue.
- Outdoor walks are also effective.
- A good rest.
- Hypothermia should be avoided.
These simple tips will help you forget about hiccups forever, unless, of course, it is caused by one of the diseases of an organic nature.
Forecast of hiccups after eating
It all depends on the source that triggers the mechanism that provokes the process of the onset of hiccups. If the cause of this symptom is one of the diseases, then the prognosis of hiccups after eating directly depends on the timeliness and effectiveness of the treatment, but, mainly, it is positive.
If the attacks of reflex spasms are of an everyday nature, then a person just needs to reconsider his lifestyle and listen to the above advice and the prognosis of hiccups after eating, in this case, will be just wonderful.A person will forever forget about such a nuisance as hiccups.
What kind of person does not like to eat well. But for some, this “good” translates into huge amounts of food consumed, for others, it is small portions of gourmet dishes. But hiccups after eating can “get” both those and others. If hiccups rarely appear, from time to time, then you should not worry, you just have to reconsider your diet, maybe some food products simply do not suit you. But if hiccups appear with enviable consistency, they should not be ignored.It is worth consulting with a specialist who will help to find out the cause of this pathology and, if necessary, prescribe therapeutic therapy.