Did you know that hiccups have a medical term called singultus, which means “to catch one’s breath while crying?” That’s right, they are not just an annoyance, hiccups are a medical condition that has many causes and possible cures.
If you want to know what may be activating your hiccups and how to stop them then you have come to the right place.
Read on to discover 7 possible hiccup causes and how to treat them.
What are Hiccups?
A hiccup is a contraction caused by an irritation in your diaphragm. This makes your diagram spasm which closes your vocal cords, causing a “hit” sound.
The usual hiccup sessions only last for a few minutes, however, some medical conditions can cause prolonged episodes.
The most common hiccup causes are the ones that are short-lived. They can happen anytime and anywhere but most likely you have recently done or experienced one of the following activities.
1. Over Eating– this puts pressure on your diaphragm as your stomach expands beyond what is normal.
2. Consuming Carbonated Drinks– these types of beverages create gas in your stomach which also irritates the diaphragm.
3. Nervousness or Excitement– breathing in large gasps of air stimulates the nerves in your diaphragm causing a spasm.
4. Temperature Fluctuations– sudden temperature changes disturb the nerves that connect the diaphragm to the brain.
5. Too Much Alcohol– increases acid production and irritates the digestive system and your esophagus.
6. Swallowing Air– too much air in the diaphragm causes it to spasm.
7. Stress– emotional strain stimulates the nerves in the diaphragm.
Preventing hiccups is as easy as avoiding these activities. However, in some cases, hiccup prevention is not possible when there is an underlying condition such as diaphragm nerve damage or a tumor. If your hiccups last longer and are frequent then more serious issues of the nervous system like meningitis or of the metabolic system like diabetes are possible.
Treating and Preventing Hiccups
Hiccup solutions include both home remedies and doctor diagnosis and treatment. This will all depend on the cause of your hiccups and the level of severity.
You could try a few at-home treatments, however, they have not been scientifically proven to be effective.
- Rubbing your eyes gently
- Holding your breath
- Water gargling
- Pulling your tongue gently
- Quickly drinking water
Read more about products that are designed to stop hiccups like lollipops.
For prolonged hiccups, your doctor might prescribe medications such as Gabapentin, Baclofen, or Chlorpromazine. This requires proper diagnosis to determine the cause of your severe hiccups.
Living with Hiccups
Hiccups should never impede your life. So, if you want to avoid the occasional bouts of hiccups then you have to avoid these common hiccups causes as much as possible. And if you do experience them you should have a plan to stop them before they become an annoyance.
Leave us a comment below if you found a hiccup home remedy that has proven effective for you.