Hiccups: An Overview
Hiccups are a reflex action which means that we do not have any control over them. Hiccups are sudden, involuntary squeezing of the diaphragm, the main breathing muscle under the lungs, which results in sucking the air quickly into the lungs thereby snapping and shutting glottis above the voice-box. This closure causes the characteristic “hiccup” sound. Hiccups will usually stop on their own. Continuous hiccups lasting for more than a day or two may indicate a cause of an underlying disease, which needs medical intervention.
Hiccups affect males more often than females. Hiccups occur in practically every human being, including babies and older adults. Hiccups usually stop within a few minutes to a few hours. Hiccups that last longer than 48 hours are called persistent hiccups. Hiccups that last longer than a month are called intractable hiccups. Both persistent and intractable hiccups may be a sign of a more serious health problem and must be checked b a doctor.
Causes of Hiccups:
- Full stomach can cause bouts of hiccups that go away on their own
- Stretching of the stomach after eating or drinking
- Sudden emotional excitement
- Very hot/cold food or drink
- Alcohol or excess smoking
- There can also be some serious medical conditions too like severe kidney failure, Hiatus hernia, malaria etc.
Home Remedies for Hiccups:
Tip 1: Hold your breath and count slowly to 10.
Tip 2: Eat a teaspoon full of sugar and honey.
Tip 3: Breath repeatedly into a paper bag for a limited period of time
Tip 4: Quickly drink a glass of cold water.