7 Causes of Hiccups

A hiccup is a brief involuntary contraction of the muscles in the diaphragm. This muscle separates the chest from the abdomen and plays a vital role in breathing. After every contraction, a quick closure of your vocal cord follows, this typically produces the ‘hic’ sound.

Hiccupping is often rhythmic and may at times go hand in hand with, a partial tightening sensation of your throat, chest, and abdomen. In most instances, hiccups are resolved or cured in a short duration of time, and very rare as medical emergencies. Visit your doctor when your hiccup lasts for three hours or more, or if they are frequently affecting your sleeping patterns, eating habits, cause food reflux or vomiting, severe abdomen pains, spitting blood, or shortness of your breath.

Chronic or severe hiccups that aren’t curable at home, we advise you to consult a doctor. Medical treatment can include anesthesia medication that helps to block phrenic nerve. Disabling the phrenic nerve through surgery is usually the treatment of the last resort.

Hiccups are commonly caused by:

1. Eating Quickly

When you eat food too fast, you can swallow air along with the food and end up having hiccups. Drinking much-carbonated beverages or eating too spicy and fatty foods can likely distend your stomach lining as well as irritate the diaphragm, causing a hiccup. Therefore, you can prevent hiccups by avoiding eating too quickly, overeating or eat much.

Eating too fast can also cause bloating. You can quickly fall for this habit without realizing it. Eating quick is associated with high rate of metabolism disorder.

How fast is too fast? You find that your body takes approximately 20 minutes to feel full. So, if in any case, you are using less than 20 minutes to clear your plate, probably you will overeat without even noticing it. Scientists believe it’s because, there is a release of the gut hormone into your gastrointestinal tract, when you eat, which signals the brain that, it’s time to stop eating. That explains why it’s harmful to eat fast while relying on the fullness signal, to indicate when to stop eating (opposing to the selection of small portions and eating only that).