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Hiccups- nonspecific dysfunction of external respiration, which occurs as a result of a series of convulsive jerky contractions of the diaphragm and is subjectively manifested by unpleasant short and intense breathing movements. One of the possible symptoms of hypothermia, overeating and other conditions.

Hiccup Varieties

  • episodic
  • long lasting

Causes of hiccoughs

In some people, hiccups occur due to psychological causes; it resembles reactions with transient paralysis in soldiers experiencing fear of combat. In such cases, the hiccup is unconscious and reflects the desire to avoid very unpleasant events.

A periodically occurring hiccup is a fairly harmless phenomenon. However, in the presence of prolonged hiccups, signs of more severe disorders can be detected. People who have undergone surgery on the stomach or spine often experience breathing problems due to prolonged attacks of hiccups. Some individuals suffer from hiccups in the post operative period,what may be a reaction to painkillers.

According to experts, such involuntary muscle contractions can come from the esophagus. Violations of swallowing and food getting stuck in the esophagus provoke nerve spasms in the place where the esophagus passes into the stomach.

With the development of renal failure, a constant or periodic hiccups can also be observed. It is caused by the development of an abscess or tumor in the chest, diaphragm or esophagus.

Main symptoms of hiccups

Normal hiccups are manifestations of a nervous tic. This occurs under the influence of the phrenic nerve, which, for unknown reasons, transmits excitation to the muscles of the diaphragm. As a result, uncontrollable spasms appear.

Treatment of hiccups

Despite significant advances in medicine over the many years of its existence, a reliable treatment of these minor spasms has not yet been found.

To get rid of hiccups, you need to stop the spasms of the diaphragm and esophagus. This can be done either by distraction, or by using breathing techniques. Usually this is enough.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If the hiccup lasts more than an hour.
  • If the attacks of hiccups appear several times every day or several days a week.
  • If, in addition to hiccups, you have chest pain, heartburn or swallowing problems.

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