The Mystery About Hiccups: Can We Stop Them?

The Mystery About Hiccups: Can We Stop Them?

What is the cause of the hiccup? Is the cause of hiccup is really spicy foods? Let’s see whether it is true or not.

People will get hiccups almost every day. Hiccup is involuntary or a sudden contraction of the diaphragm, and generally repeating itself every minute. Dr. Amitabh Monga, a gastroenterologist from Gleneagles Hospital said that the factors of hiccups are excessive laughing, heavy meals, and emotional stimuli are some factors that can set off these little expulsions of air.

But actually, there are more factors that cause you to get hiccups without realizing it.

(Photo: Unsplash/Ruthy Yang)
(Photo: Unsplash/Ruthy Yang)

Dr. Melvin Look - the director of PanAsia Surgery at Mount Elizabet Novena Hospital – there are some factors of people getting hiccups.

“The cause of the hiccups may be from certain medications such as sleeping pills or even spicy food, which stimulate the phrenic nerve that controls the diaphragm.”

You should be aware of now for eating spicy foods!


Hiccups happened when the air that suddenly passes into the lungs causes the glottis (the space between the vocal cords) to close, causing a ‘hic’ sounds.

Dr. Look explained that hiccups are created when your diaphragm – the horizontal, flat muscle that separates your lungs from your abdominal contents – suddenly and involuntarily contracts and draws air into the lungs, and if this sudden influx of air happens when your voice box is contracted, you’ll create an audible “hic”.

The mystery of the exact cause of short-lasting hiccups cannot be explained by anyone else.

Dr. Monga said, “The exact cause of short-lasting hiccups, why they happen and what purpose they serve has been debatable with no final answers.”

Dr. Monga said that older men are more likely to get hiccups and it is actually common and “affect almost everyone during their lifetime.”

Hiccups usually only happened in the last a few minutes and go away on their own based on Dr. Look. And if it lasts more than two days then you have to do a medical checker to see what is truly happened to your body.

The prolonged hiccups could point to structural, infectious, or inflammatory disorders that impact either the central nervous system or certain nerves or their branches include disease of the stomach, liver, pancreas, or the brain, said Dr. Monga.

(Photo: Unsplash/Johnny McClung)
(Photo: Unsplash/Johnny McClung)

If you go to Google you may find some tips to stop hiccups by holding your breath, drinking water quickly, and tugging your tongue. Are they truly worked?

Based on Dr. Look, he said that holding your breath or breathing while leaning forward with your knees drawn against your chest is interrupting or over-riding the normal involuntary breathing cycle of the diaphragm.

Also gargling and pulling your tongue sound, they apparently stimulate your throat, which is another way of interrupting your diaphragm’s involuntary actions.

Dr. Monga stated that this maneuver has not been confirmed and they are easy to perform and have low risks of complications and hence, there is no harm in trying them.

If there are no underlying medical causes, your doctor may prescribe medication to stop them, said Dr. Look.

Source :

CNA Health

Annisa Firdausy

I am a college student. and that's all
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