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Most folks have observed hiccups, a less than enjoyable, sometimes embarrassing, in fact short-lived experience. But not hiccups persist for some time of your time and can be a sign of serious underlying disease.

Hiccups are bursts of inspiratory (soaking in) activity. The muscles we use once we soak up a breath are the intercostal muscles situated between ribs, additionally, the diaphragm – a sheet of muscle in the lungs. A hiccup is undoubtedly an involuntary contraction in the diaphragm, and that is followed by the sudden closure of your vocal cords – this produces the characteristic hiccup sound.

Hiccups are incredibly common and the majority of others will have hiccups at some time. Most straightforward cases of hiccups come following or drinking a lot or too fast. The stomach, that is situated right below the diaphragm, becomes distended and irritates it. This leads to the diaphragm to contract, since it does whenever we inhale and exhale.

Carbonated fizzy drinks can cause hiccups, and alcohol is one other common reason for hiccups. Excess smoking might also cause hiccups. Spicy food, like curry, may trigger hiccups.

Sometimes hiccups will occur because of a disturbance to the nerve pathways within the brain to the muscles involved. This explains why hiccups will occur with temperature changes or emotional situations. Additionally it is the key reason why an abrupt shock can often abolish another panic.

Persistent hiccups may signify problems from the brain (just like stroke, tumours, infections or multiple sclerosis), vertebrate or from any of the structures surrounding the diaphragm or chest wall. So?chronic hiccups that last days, months or simply years, might point to serious underlying disease and ought to be investigated.


Everyone has their unique pet treatment for curing hiccups. Simply holding your breath is usually effective for short-term bouts of hiccups, but usually, they will likely disappear completely that belongs to them accord. A number of people find that touching or gently lifting their uvula (the dangly structure in the back of the throat) that has a cotton bud or similar will get rid of a bout of hiccups, but keep in mind this can stimulate the gag reflex.

Other methods include drinking frosty water, swallowing something sweet just like a spoonful of sugar, or sitting while leaning forward and pulling your legs up to compress your chest.

If you may have hiccups that have already gone on for 2 days or longer or are experiencing recurrent bouts of hiccups, make sure you view a doctor to determine if likely to underlying cause that really needs treating.

If you might be having problems with hiccups, call 03 5229 5192 (Myers Street Family Medical Practice) or 03 5241 6129 (The Cottage Medical Centre) to set an appointment with one of our experts. Your medical professional can;

  • rule out serious underlying diseases that provoke hiccups;
  • prescribe antispasmodics;
  • treat underlying diseases that may be causing hiccups; or
  • refer yourself to a surgeon who may recommend surgery over the nerves supplying the diaphragm, when you\’ve got severe or persistent hiccup attacks.


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