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

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Egg Allergy? Don't Let That Stop You From Getting VaccinatedTwo Lives Saved in Rare 'Paired' Liver DonationYour Life Span May Be Foretold in Your Heart BeatsHealth Tip: Stopping NosebleedsKids Can Get UTIs, TooIs a New Remedy for Body Odor on the Horizon?Why More Patients Are Surviving an AneurysmCommon Diabetes Drug May Also Shield Kidneys, HeartIsraeli Team Announces First 3D-Printed Heart Using Human Cells'Added Sugars' Label on Foods Could Save Many LivesCPAP Brings Longer Life for Obese People With Sleep Apnea: StudyYoung Athletes Need to Be Sidelined After Bout of MonoPre-Cut Melons at Kroger, Walmart, Other Stores May Carry SalmonellaCDC Says Ground Beef Is Source of E. coli Outbreak, Cases Rise to 109AHA News: Is Yoga Heart-Healthy? It's No Stretch to See Benefits, Science SuggestsFDA Orders Label Warning on Alcohol Use With 'Female Viagra'Could Treating Gut Bacteria Help Ease Autism Symptoms?Hospital Privacy Curtains Could Be Breeding Ground for GermsItchy Skin Common Alongside Kidney DiseaseMany Misdiagnosed With MSVehicle Exhaust Drives Millions of New Asthma Cases AnnuallyNFL Retirees Help Scientists Develop Early Test for Brain Condition CTEMigraine Pain Linked to Raised Suicide RiskMore Time Spent in Sports, Faster Healing From ConcussionHealth Tip: Thermometer OptionsStill No Source as E. Coli Outbreak Grows to 96 Cases Across 5 States: CDCClimate Change Could Worsen Sneezin' SeasonEvenity Approved for Osteoporotic WomenNYC Declares Public Health Emergency Over Brooklyn Measles OutbreakInsurers' Denials of Opioid Coverage Spurs CDC to Clarify GuidelinesImmune-Targeted Treatment Might Help Prevent Peanut Allergy CrisesCluster of Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant E. Coli Infection Spotted in NYCHealth Tip: Managing Chronic MigrainesFor One Man, Too Much Vitamin D Was DisastrousCDC Investigates Mystery E. Coli Outbreak Affecting 5 StatesBlacks Live Longer, Not Necessarily Better, With ALSIs It Heartburn or Something Else?Lungs, Hearts Infected With Hepatitis C Still OK for TransplantUnhealthy Diets May Be World's Biggest KillerSevere 'Mono' Infection May Raise Risk for Chronic Fatigue SyndromeUnder-the-Tongue Allergy Pills Replacing Shots for ManyFish Slime Could Hold Key to Beating 'Superbug' InfectionsPet Hedgehogs Still Spreading Salmonella, CDC WarnsCimzia Approved for Inflammatory ArthritisSpring Is the Sneezing SeasonU.S. Flu Season Ebbing, but Cases Still Widespread: CDCLab-Grown Blood Vessels Could Be Big Medical AdvanceClimate Change Will Aid Spread of Disease-Bearing MosquitoesSurgeons Perform First HIV-Positive Kidney Transplant From Living DonorAncestry Matters When Seeking Matched Bone Marrow Donors
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.