Hiccups may be a serious alert of danger.

Hiccups are a common problem that we all have from time to time. For most people, hiccups are usually mild and go away without any medical treatment. But sometimes hiccups may be an alert of danger that is telling you there is something wrong inside your body. 

Hiccups are simply involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, which produces the characteristic "hic" sound. 

Hiccups may last for minutes and then go away, and here are the main triggers for hiccups that last less than 48 hours include:

  • Drinking carbonated beverages.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Eating too much.
  • Excitement or emotional stress.
  • Sudden temperature changes.
  • Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy.

In case you noticed that Hiccups last for more 48 hours, this would probably mean one of those following cases: 

1- Nerve damage or irritation

  • A hair or something else in your ear touching your eardrum
  • A tumour, cyst or goitre in your neck
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Sore throat or laryngitis

2- Central nervous system disorders

  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Tumours
    Metabolic disorders and drugs
  • Alcoholism
  • Anaesthesia
  • Barbiturates
  • Diabetes
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Kidney disease
  • Steroids
  • Tranquilizers

In those cases, you will need to visit your doctor to figure out the needed thing to do, cause as you see this will not a something good coming at all, so don’t underestimate this alert, ever! 

Now, know more about what to do when you have the simple Hiccups that last for few minutes to shorten its lasting time: 

  • Gulping a glass of water
  • Eating a piece of dry bread slowly
  • Drinking water from the far side of the glass – you will need to be able to bend over to do this
  • Gargling with water
  • Taking a deep breath, holding it for as long as you can and repeating this several times
  • Sucking on a lemon
  • Drinking peppermint water
  • Eating a teaspoon of dry sugar
  • Pulling your knees up to your chest
  • Breathing in and out of a paper bag (not a plastic one and don’t do this for any longer than 1 minute)


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