This post provides a thorough understanding of hiccups: what they are, how to get rid of them, what causes them, who gets hiccups, and other things you need to know about hiccups if they’re bothering you.
Sometimes hiccups can be funny. It makes other people laugh to see someone with hiccups. But that is only if the hiccups are not painful or hurting.
We have included our secret for stopping hiccups. You may want to try that yourself.
It works for us. See if it is something you want to try too. It’s our hiccup stopper super-secret.
Who Usually Gets Hiccups?
Hiccups are a natural human reflex that can happen to anyone, at any time and in any place. There is no preference when it comes to who gets hiccups.
While the frequency in which it happens is equal between men and women, hiccups that continue on persistently seem to be more prevalent in males than in females.
It is also true that infants are more prone to hiccupping than an adult person, but persistent hiccups actually occur more commonly in adults.
Why is this so?
What makes a person hiccup and what are the factors surrounding this phenomenon? Is there a way for you to avoid having hiccups?
What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups catch people in the most unexpected moments.
It may be while you are in the middle of talking, or perhaps when you are eating. At other times, hiccups happen when you are drinking, laughing, or even when you are doing nothing.
Some say that hiccups are caused by hectic environments that bring anxiety and stress, but there are times when hiccups happen for no reason at all.
Although mostly harmless, hiccups can be uncomfortable and can even cause embarrassment. If persisting for too long, hiccups can also be a sign of a more serious condition.
But what causes hiccups exactly?
1 – Irritated Diaphragm
A hiccup is said to take place when spasms occur in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the bone-shaped sheet of muscles that is located just below the lungs.
It plays an essential role in the breathing process. When we breathe, the diaphragm pulls down to help the lungs take in air. The diaphragm soon relaxes and this releases the air in an action we know as exhaling.
When the diaphragm is irritated however, it pulls down quite suddenly in a jerky fashion. This then causes the vocal chords to close, resulting in a ‘hic’ or ‘hiccup’ sound, or what we refer to as a hiccup.
2 – Common Causes of Hiccups
An irritated diaphragm is what causes hiccups most of the time. In other cases, an irritated stomach can cause hiccups as well because of its closeness to the diaphragm.
This is why most known causes of hiccups have something to do with the way people eat or the food and drinks that a person takes in. Here is a list of some of the common causes of hiccups.
- Inhaling too quickly.
- Inhaling too much air.
- Swallowing too fast.
- Eating too quickly.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Taking in too many carbonated or fizzy drinks.
- Eating very spicy food.
- Eating foods that are too hot or too cold.
Although not an irritation of the diaphragm or the stomach, there are also cases when simple stress or excitement is enough to cause hiccups.
A person can also experience hiccups if he or she is in a very emotional situation or even when there is a sudden change in temperature. These causes of hiccups point out that disturbances along the nerve pathways can also result in the unexpected reflex.
In a similar manner, this also provides an explanation as to why hiccups can sometimes be scared away or halted with a sudden shock to the nerves.
3 – Medications
Aside from the natural causes of hiccups, there are also some forms of medications that are said to increase the likelihood of hiccups. Some of these medications are as follows:
People who suffer from certain medical conditions are more prone to hiccups. These are:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD
This impedes the bowel movements which in turn cause irritation to the stomach.
- GERD or Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease
An irritated esophagus has also been linked to the occurrence of hiccups.
Respiratory conditions affect a person’s breathing which may lead to more hiccups. Other similar conditions are asthma and pleurisy.
A person with conditions that affects the central nervous system is also more prone to hiccups. Other conditions include a brain tumor and traumatic brain injuries.
The cause hiccups can be a variety of things, most of which are factors that we can control. You can simply prevent the occurrence of hiccups by staying away from the things that are likely to most trigger it.
Food and Drinks – The Causes
A hiccup is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm that is immediately followed by a contraction of the vocal chords. It can last for just a few minutes before it stops entirely on its own, or it can be persistent and last for longer than two days.
There are also many cures that have been developed to stop hiccups. Some of these include simple home remedies and quick fixes, while others require medication and even surgeries in the most serious of cases.
Many things have been written about hiccups, but even with its prevalence as a natural human reflex, it seems that experts all over the world are still quite unsure of what exactly it is that causes hiccups.
Some point to food and drinks as the cause, and this is what you are going to learn about in the following paragraphs.
I hope the contents of this post helped you understand what hiccups are and how to get rid of them. The next step is to put the knowledge provided in this post to good use.
We included information on the most likely causes of hiccups, listing some of the better known foods and drinks that tend to cause hiccups. Take a look at that list again. See if you can avoid those in your diet if hiccups are a real bother to you.
Hiccups can make people laugh. They are funny sometimes, but if they’re too hard or making you uncomfortable then they’re not really that funny at all. That’s when you need to understand what is causing the hiccups and how to stop them.