Why Do Hiccups Occur?


Reasons for Hiccups

Spasm of the diaphragm ( a layer that separates the lungs from the abdomen) often leads to a condition called hiccups and there could be no human without experiencing one in his/her lifetime. The diaphragm eventually relaxes in a minute or two causing the hiccup to stop. But, why does it occur in the first place?

  • Gulping food hastily
  • Eating/ drinking too much at a time
  • Stress/ fear/ anxiety
  • Alcoholism
  • Other medical conditions

Not just in adults, hiccups do occur in children, and babies as well. It is even more interesting to find that even a fetus can hiccup in the womb.

When Should One Worry about Hiccups?

The blockage of the vocal cord is what leads to that sound you experience while hiccuping. While it lasts only for a matter of minutes, there arises a reason for concern when hiccups last for more than 48 hours. Sometimes, it could be an abdominal disease, gastroenteritis, or even pneumonia. It hiccups occur frequently or disrupting your everyday chores, it is wise to consult your general practitioner as early as possible who will further suggest if any tests have to be taken.

How to Stop Hiccups?

There are several remedies for hiccups on the Internet such as measured breathing, biting your tongue, blowing into a paper bag, gulping a glass of water, etc. We can’t say each of these remedies are 100% effective as it might work for one but not for the other. While there is no harm in trying out these, hiccups stop on their own, even without any of these.

Facts about Hiccups

  1. The medical term of hiccups is singultus (derived from Latin meaning ‘sob’)
  2. Hiccups could sometimes be a side effect of certain types of medication that cause acid reflux.
  3. All mammals could hiccup! Now, that’s really something you didn’t know before, right?
  4. The longest recorded hiccups lasted for around 60 years. And you thought, hiccups were annoying you!
  5. Ultrasound imaging has captured a fetus hiccuping and there might be chances your baby is hiccuping right now if you are pregnant.
  6. Hiccups are not hereditary. It has nothing to do with genes or family history.


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