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What Causes Hiccups

Written by Harpreet

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Virtually everyone that lives gets hiccups, and yet very few people understand the real reasons why we get them. Hiccup causes are actually quite varied, but generally speaking they are caused by the diaphragm acting differently than normal. Despite the rather harmless nature of hiccups as a rule, they can still be rather alarming when they won’t go away. Some people go months with a bad case of hiccups, but this is usually when they are caused by a medical condition. This is very rare.


 The role of the diaphragm

 Your diaphragm is a rounded type muscle that sits near the bottom of your chest. When you breathe in or inhale, the diaphragm pulls air and oxygen into your lungs to allow you to get air. When you exhale, air leaves the lungs and travels to the mouth and nose. This natural process is usually interrupted when hiccups start. The diaphragm is sensitive in this way, and can be altered by a number of benign things temporarily.

 Irritation is where it is at

Your diaphragm can be irritated in many ways and cause you to suck in air too quickly. When this happens, the air hits your voice box and hiccups inevitably occur. This can be caused by throat irritations, nervousness, eating too much, eating too quickly and even stomach irritations. Either way, they all can cause hiccups and make you start emitting noises.

 Medical causes of hiccups

 There is an endless variety of medical causes that can bring hiccups to the fore, but all of them seem to in some way trace back to the diaphragm or the function thereof. These hiccup problems are usually long lasting and persistent. Some of the more common causes of hiccups caused by a medical problem include:

  1. sore throat
  2. Laryngitis
  3. Eardrum Problems
  4. tumor in the neck
  5. acid reflux

While this is not a comprehensive list at all, it is the most common long term causes. More serious causes include stroke, MS, kidney problems and countless other maladies. If you have long term problems with hiccups, a trip to the doctor would be your best solution. It is always best to err on the side of caution.

Hiccups are a very common occurrence, and rarely a cause for concern. Solutions have been bandied about for years and range from something as simple as being startled to something as involved as taking a certain number of steps on one foot. Perhaps no other thing in the world has as many home remedies out there. If you suffer from hiccups, chances are you will find a solution to solve it rather easily. Most of the solutions found are totally harmless to try, so what do you have to lose? Give them a shot and see what happens!

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