24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Vaping Constricts Blood Vessels, Raising Heart, Lung ConcernsWhen Does Heart Health Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?New Antibiotic Approved for Community-Acquired Bacterial PneumoniaImplant Approved to Improve Symptoms in Advanced Heart Failure'No Quick Fix' for A-Fib, But Cardiologist Says You Can Help Prevent ItAHA News: Why Do Women Get Statins Less Frequently Than Men?'Dr. Google' Helps Some Patients Diagnose a Rare DiseaseHealth Tip: Recognizing a Staph InfectionIs Dairy Fat Different?CDC Recommends Catch-Up HPV Vaccination for Young AdultsHow to Relieve Dry, Irritated EyesPretomanid Approved for Treatment of Drug-Resistant TBAHA News: Tiring Easily May Warn of Future Heart TroubleAmerica's Obesity Epidemic May Mean Some Cancers Are Striking SoonerHeavy Smog as Bad as Pack-a-Day Smoking for LungsConcussed NFL Players Sidelined for Much Longer NowadaysHormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Harm the Heart: StudyObesity and 'Spare Tire' Raise Hispanics' Odds for Early DeathAHA News: Protein Made During Long Workouts May Warn of Heart ProblemsHow to Help Your Heart Weather Extreme HeatHealth Threats Don't End for Some Sepsis SurvivorsHeat Waves Brought by Climate Change Could Prove Deadly for Kidney PatientsHealth Tip: Avoiding AnemiaAre You Still Putting Off Colon Cancer Screening?Tips for Preventing DiverticulitisFDA Reports More Seizures Among VapersKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyCan Major Surgeries Cause a Long-Term 'Brain Drain'?How Much Coffee Is Too Much for Migraine Sufferers?Steady Stream of Lesser Head Hits in Football Can Still Damage BrainDon't Sweat It: Hyperhydrosis Can Be TreatedFast-Food Joints on Your Way to Work? Your Waistline May WidenAdults Need Vaccines, TooHealth Tip: Managing Arthritis of the Hands'Selfies' Might Someday Track Your Blood PressureIn Heat Waves, Fans May Do More Harm Than GoodSmoking Creates Long-Lasting Risk for Clogged Leg ArteriesFootball Head Trauma Linked Again to Long-Term Brain DamageDrug Approved to Treat Tenosynovial Giant Cell TumorRugby-Style Tackling Might Make Football SaferFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsFrailty Not a Normal Part of AgingAHA News: Hurricane Checklist: Batteries, Bottled Water – And A Plan for Heart CareDangerous Sesame Allergy Affects Many AmericansScorching Pavement Sends Some to the ER With BurnsHealth Tip: Living With Hypoglycemia3-D Printers Might Someday Make Replacement HeartsCDC Renews Pledge to Fight Ebola Outbreak in AfricaAnemia Linked to Higher Odds for Dementia in SeniorsDrug Duo May Be an Advance Against a Common Leukemia
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Unraveling the Mystery of Hiccups

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 2nd 2019

new article illustration

SATURDAY, Feb. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most everyone gets them, but no one really knows why.

Hiccups are a reflexive spasm of the diaphragm, and they can happen to anyone from newborns to the elderly. It's even common for babies in the womb to be seen hiccuping on ultrasounds, according to Dr. Stacey Milunic. She is a family medicine physician from Penn State Health.

But what triggers them remains unclear.

"We don't know for sure what causes them," Milunic said in a university news release. "It's not well understood."

Many people develop hiccups when experiencing emotional states, such as anxiety or overexcitement. Or after eating a large meal or drinking carbonated beverages.

Hiccups are sometimes a side effect of medication or can occur after a medical procedure such as an endoscopy or after receiving anesthesia. Some people blame hiccups on alcohol, smoking, chewing gum and eating spicy foods.

"Basically, anything that distends or expands the stomach or potentially could irritate it can bring them on," Milunic said.

While they can be irritating and embarrassing, hiccups rarely indicate a more serious, underlying medical condition.

Most cases disappear within 48 hours, but there are rare cases of intractable hiccups, which are more common in men than women.

"If you are hiccuping for more than two days, you would want to call your doctor," Milunic said. "Rarely, but on occasion, it could be a sign of damage to the nerve or another serious medical condition."

People use a number of methods to try to stop their hiccups, including holding their breath, breathing into a paper bag, asking someone to scare them or putting cold compresses on their face.

Milunic said her personal favorite is drinking water from the opposite side of the glass.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on hiccups.