Why Do Hiccups Happen and how to Manage?

2 minute read
2 minute read

Why Do Hiccups Happen?

Hiccups happen when the diaphragm undergoes sudden involuntary contraction. It can be caused by ischemia or lack of blood supply to the diaphragm or an irritation of the nerves.

Hiccups can also occur because of some other reasons, some of them can be physical or emotional. Some common causes include:

1. Eating too much or too fast

2. Feeling nervousness or excitement

3. Taking carbonated beverages or too much alcohol

4. Emotional Stress

5. An unexpected change in temperature

Should I go to a Doctor?

Hiccups are usually temporary, but in rare cases, they can stick around for a while. It’s usually because of damage or aggravation to the nerves connected to the diaphragm. Medical attention is necessary if the hiccup is lasting more than 48 hours or if it is seriously affecting sleep, eating or breathing.

Medical attention is required for pathological hiccups, such as cardiac hiccups which occur in persons having congestive heart failure, uremic hiccups which occur due to renal failure and cerebral hiccups.

Metabolic disorders like diabetes or kidney failure can also cause Long-term Hiccups. Drugs like steroids or some tranquilizers too can trigger long-term hiccups.

Home Remedies

Hold Your Breath: Simplest remedy for hiccups is to hold your breath. Take a deep breath, hold the breath behind the belly button then gradually exhale.

Brown Bag Remedy: Take a paper bag open it, hold the edges near your nose and breathe into the bag (Both exhaling and then inhaling).

Both these techniques will increase the Carbon dioxide concentration in your lungs which will allow the diaphragm to relax. Continue both remedies for 1 to 2 minutes. Your hiccups should quickly be relieved.

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