Before 16 April, 2017 Isabel Vallejo
Hiccups originate from the diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle located in the lower part of the chest. This annoying contraction often lasts just a few minutes.
This organ helps people to fill their lungs with air and it relaxes when we exhale to let air release out of the nose and mouth. According to the webpage MedlinePlus, an irritated diaphragm is what causes the vocal chords to close rapidly, which produces the unique sound hiccups make.
Some activities that can lead to hiccups include eating too fast or too much. Other causes can include abdominal surgery, eating hot and spicy foods or liquids, noxious fumes, strokes, or tumors that affect the brain.
If they last several days or even weeks, hiccups can be a warning sign of a more serious medical condition, in which case it is important to be seen by a doctor. Some recommendations for treating hiccups at home include:
- Breathing repeatedly into a paper bag
- Drinking a glass of cold water
- Eating a teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar
- Holding your breath.