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Hiccups: what it is, why it occurs and what happens when it doesn’t go away


woman with hiccups

Hiccups are a phenomenon that we have all experienced at one time or another. Let’s find out why it occurs and what happens when it becomes persistent.

Hiccups occur due to an involuntary contracture of the diaphragm which, with each contraction, causes the vocal cords to close, producing the classic sound we all know. The reasons why this happens can be different. Let’s find out together.

Hiccups: causes and remedies of one of the most annoying phenomena ever

In most cases, sudden hiccups are caused by the intake of too much air which causes the diaphragm to contract involuntarily. This is a problem that can occur after eating quickly or drinking gas-rich drinks. Often this is also associated with anxiety crises, which push you to hyperventilate and, therefore, to get more air.

woman with hiccups
woman with hiccups

There are generally remedies that can help resolve it even faster and that consist of breathing into a paper bag, holding your breath for a few seconds, faking a sneeze, and drinking at least seven sips of water without breathing. All strange remedies but which, at times, have the characteristic of bringing relief and helping to pass hiccups more quickly.

In some cases, however, this does not happen and if the phenomenon tends to last longer, the problem is of a different type. It is in fact a continuous hiccup.

What happens when hiccups persist. What to pay attention to

As anyone who has had hiccups at least once knows, this phenomenon tends to come suddenly and disappear just as quickly.

Sometimes, however, its duration can also extend throughout the day, even reaching over 48 hours. In these cases we speak of persistent hiccups which, unlike the classic , it can have more serious causes.
In case of continuous hiccups the causes can in fact be:

– Depression
– Severe anxiety disorders
– Diabetes
– Diseases of the liver, stomach or intestines
Hiatal hernia
– Pneumonia
– Oncological diseases
Kidney problems
– Parkinson’s disease
– Gastro intestinal problems

As you can imagine, when hiccups do not stop and continue to recur constantly, it is important to talk to your doctor in order to rule out any health problems and find the precise cause and, consequently, appropriate treatment. Treatment that in some cases can be associated with acupuncture, relaxation techniques and exercises for the diaphragm.


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