Hiccups – Causes & Symptoms

Why do i Hiccup?

Anything more than that is normally irritating. Once is amusing, twice is hilarious, and three times is hilarious. We’ve all experienced them, but do you know where they come from? They’re called hiccups, and they’re the odd little noises that can come out of your mouth unexpectedly.

Hiccups, on the other hand, begin far lower in the body, in the diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle that connects your lungs and stomach.
When you inhale, the diaphragm pulls down to allow air into your lungs, and when you exhale, it relaxes to allow air to escape back out of your lungs and out your nose and mouth.

However, if your diaphragm is irritated, it will spasm, causing you to suck air into your throat and into your voice box. This causes the vocal cords to close abruptly, resulting in the distinct “hic!” tone.

A big meal, alcoholic or carbonated drinks, or sudden excitement may cause hiccups.
Hiccups may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition in some situations.
A bout of hiccups normally lasts just a few minutes for most people. Hiccups can last for months in rare cases. This can lead to weight loss as well as fatigue.


Hiccup is a symptom. A slight tightening feeling in your chest, abdomen, or throat can accompany it at times.

When do you see a doctor?

If the hiccups last longer than 48 hours or are so serious that they interfere with eating, sleeping, or breathing, make an appointment with your doctor.


The following are the most common causes of hiccups that last less than 48 hours:

  • When Carbonated drinks are consumed.
  • Drinking excessive amount of alcohol
  • Excessive excitement or mental tension
  • Temperature swings.
  • Chewing gum or eating candy

Hiccups are typically just temporary, but they can last for a long time in extreme situations. The nerves that bind to the diaphragm are normally damaged or aggravated.
These nerves may be damaged by anything from a hair brushing your eardrum to a sore throat, and in more severe situations, a tumor, goitre, or cyst in the neck.

Hiccups that last a long time may be caused by CNS diseases such as encephalitis or meningitis, as well as metabolic disorders such as diabetes or kidney failure.
Long-term hiccups can also be caused by drugs like steroids or tranquilizers.

Even some procedures, especially those requiring anesthesia, may cause hiccups.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you’ve been hiccuping for more than two days, or if they’re bad enough to interfere with feeding, breathing, sleeping, or cause you pain.

Also, if you have stomach pain, headache, shortness of breath, vomiting, or cough up blood with your hiccups, see your doctor right away.

Risk Factors

Men are also more likely than women to experience long-term hiccups.
Other factors that can make you more susceptible to hiccups include:

Issues with the mind or emotions
Short-term and long-term hiccups have been linked to anxiety, tension, and excitement in some situations.

Surgical procedures are performed.
Since having general anesthesia or operations involving abdominal organs, some people experience hiccups.

How to stop Hiccups

We’re sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping that hanging upside down or making a friend scare you would stop your hiccups. However, there is no conclusive evidence that these treatments function.

Some experts believe that holding the breath or breathing into a paper bag will relieve the diaphragm; both methods cause carbon dioxide to build up in the lungs, which can relax the diaphragm.

If all else fails and your hiccups persist for several days or longer, your doctor can try a variety of drugs to see if they can relieve your discomfort.
Best of luck!


Your doctor can conduct a neurological exam as part of your physical exam to check your:

  • Coordination and balance
  • Muscle tone and intensity
  • Reflexes
  • The senses of sight and touch

If your doctor believes an underlying medical condition is causing your hiccups, one or more of the following tests might be recommended.

Tests in the lab

Blood samples can be examined for symptoms of:

  1. Infection
  2. Diabetes
  3. Kidney disease

Tests in imaging

Anatomical anomalies affecting the vagus nerve, phrenic nerve, or diaphragm can be detected using these tests.

The following imaging tests can be performed:

Endoscopic examinations

A thin, flexible tube containing a tiny camera is passed down your throat to search for problems in your oesophagus or windpipe during these procedures.


Hiccups usually go away on their own without medical intervention.
If your hiccups are caused by an underlying medical condition, treating the illness can help you stop having them. For hiccups that have lasted more than two days, the following procedures can be considered.

Prescription drugs

Long-term hiccups can be treated with the following medications:

Surgical and other interventions

Your doctor may prescribe an injection of anesthetic to block your phrenic nerve to stop hiccups if less invasive treatments don’t work.

Another choice is to have a battery-operated unit surgically implanted to provide mild electrical stimulation to your vagus nerve. This technique is most widely used to treat epilepsy, but it has also proven to be effective in the treatment of chronic hiccups.

Home remedies

Although there is no surefire way to stop hiccups, if you have a bout that lasts more than a few minutes, the following home remedies can help, though they are untested:

  • Inhale deeply into a paper bag.
  • Gargle with ice water
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Drink cold water.

Changes in your lifestyle can help if you have chronic hiccups:

  • Avoid carbonated drinks and foods that cause gas.
  • Consume smaller portions of food.

Alternative Medicine

Alternative treatments, such as hypnosis and acupuncture, can be beneficial when other treatments fail to relieve long-term hiccups.

Preparing for your appointment

Although you should first consult your family doctor about your persistent hiccups, if you have persistent or serious hiccups, he or she may refer you to a specialist.

What you can do to help

You may want to make a list that includes the following items:

Describe the symptoms in detail.

Information about medical issues you’ve had in the past Information about medical issues your parents or siblings have had in the past

Questions you’d like to ask the doctor about your drugs and dietary supplements

What to expect from your physician

Your doctor may inquire:

When did you first notice the hiccups?

How much do they happen?

Is there anything that makes them worse or better?

What prescriptions do you have?

Have you ever suffered from a sore throat or earache?

Do you suffer from indigestion or bloating?

Have you noticed any changes in your voice or a sore throat?

Have you had chest pressure, a cough, or trouble breathing?

Have you been suffering from headaches or other neurological symptoms?