What Causes Hiccups: (Risk Factors, Treatments Genetic) and How to Treat Them

Hiccups can happen to anyone, including children and babies in the womb. Although this condition is generally harmless and can disappear quickly, persistent hiccups can be a sign if you experience serious medical problems. What Causes Hiccups: (Risk Factors, Genetic Treatments) and How to Treat Them. Check out the reviews here.


What Causes Hiccups?

The main cause of hiccups is the contraction or tension of the diaphragm, the muscle located between the chest and abdominal cavities. This contraction of the diaphragm muscles can occur suddenly without being controlled. The contraction causes air from the outside to enter the lungs quickly.

As a result, the epiglottis valve behind the tongue should close immediately so that food, drink, or saliva does not become absorbed into the lungs. This sudden closure of the epiglottis causes a ‘hik’ sound during hiccups.

Here are the common causes of hiccups found in adults:

Eat too fast and lots

Eating large portions, especially in a hurry, is the most common cause of hiccups. Overeating causes the stomach to quickly enlarge and encourages the diaphragm to contract. This then triggers a hiccup.

Eating too fast also causes a lot of air to come in when you swallow. Simultaneously, the diaphragm contracts excessively and the epiglottis closes rapidly so that no food enters the throat.


Certain types of food

Some types of food can indeed be the cause of hiccups, especially dry foods or those that taste too spicy. Dry foods, such as bread tend to be harder to chew or swallow than soft foods. This type of dry food is prone to injure and irritate the lining of the esophagus.

Some nerves in the esophagus will arouse and trigger diaphragm contractions, thus ultimately causing hiccups. Consumption of spicy foods also gives a similar effect. Capsaicin content in foods containing chili peppers binds to special receptors in the diaphragm.

As a result, the diaphragm muscles will contract or stiffen. The flow of air to the throat shaft also takes place quickly and hiccups occur.


Sudden temperature changes in the esophagus

Another cause of hiccups is related to sudden temperature changes in the esophagus. Sudden temperatures rise or fall will ‘tickle’ the nerves of the esophagus and stimulate excessive diaphragm contractions.

The nerves in the esophagus are very sensitive when exposed to very hot or cold food and drinks. Aside from food factors, moving around with drastic temperature changes also affects the temperature of the esophagus.


Excessive emotions

Conditions too happy or stressed can cause hiccups. It is not yet known exactly how emotions trigger reactions to the diaphragm. This phenomenon is likely related to certain hormones, such as dopamine.

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What causes hiccups to occur constantly?

Hiccups will generally disappear on their own in no time. However, some hiccups occur continuously for several days or weeks, even though they have done various ways to remove hiccups naturally.

Constant hiccups are not only annoying but also need to be aware because they can be a symptom of certain diseases.

Some causes of persistent hiccups, among others, are as follows:


Blood vessels in the brain are damaged

In some cases, chronic hiccups occur due to problems in the blood vessels of the brain. Some of the diseases associated with this problem are strokes, such as brain ischemia and Wallenberg syndrome.

Stroke is pretty much found among patients with persistent hiccups. Prolonged hiccups may also occur in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

You should consider the possibility of SLE or stroke in someone especially the elderly who experience prolonged hiccups to avoid delays in handling.


Tumors, inflammation, and injury to the central nervous system

The cause of persistent hiccups can also occur due to inflammation, injury, or tumors in the brain. Therefore, chronic hiccups will usually disappear after the patient undergoes brain stem lesion surgery.

Swelling of arteries in the cerebelbrain and brain injury can also cause hiccups. In addition, a rare condition called neuromyelitis optica, which affects the spinal cord and eye nerves, triggers prolonged hiccups.



Cancer is believed to be one of the triggers why a person hiccups constantly. Symptoms of hiccups are pretty much found in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment or receiving opioid painkillers, such as morphine.

In addition, the possibility of cancer cells in the patient’s body pushes the diaphragm muscles, causing hiccups.


Indigestion and stomach disorders

If you suffer from gastrointestinal and abdominal disorders, the chances of experiencing prolonged hiccups are greater. Some cases show that 7.9% of men and 10% of female GERD patients experience prolonged hiccups.

Other health problems that occur in the gastrointestinal tract and stomach can be the cause of persistent hiccups, such as:

  • Peptic ulcer
  • Appendectomy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
  • Tumors in the stomach or intestines
  • Diaphragmatic hernia


Anesthesia and post-surgery

Surgery can also cause you to have constant hiccups afterward. One of the surgical procedures that can trigger hiccups is colectomy, which is the surgical removal of part or all of the organs of the colon.

The use of anesthesia or anesthesia during surgery can also cause hiccups in patients. However, experts are still debating whether the cause behind the hiccups is the surgical procedure itself, or the effects of the anesthetic being administered.

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What are the risk factors for Hiccups?

The following factors can increase your risk of having hiccups:


Long-term hiccups are more common in men than in women.


Mental or emotional problems

Anxiety, stress, and excitement are often associated with some cases of short- and long-term hiccups.



Some people develop hiccups after undergoing general anesthesia or after procedures involving abdominal organs.

What Causes Hiccups: (Risk Factors, Treatments Genetic ) and How to Treat Them

How to Treat Them

Most hiccups are not serious, or something to worry about. However, if it happens for a prolonged time it can make it uncomfortable and interfere with daily life.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience hiccups lasting more than two days. They can determine the severity of the hiccups you experience by examining the entire health condition of the body.

Many ways can be done to treat hiccups. Usually, mild hiccups will disappear by themselves. However, if the hiccup lasts for more than a few minutes, it will make irresistible discomfort.

Here are some ways to overcome hiccups:

  • Breathe into a paper bag
  • Eat a teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds
  • Drink a glass of cold water
  • Pull your tongue
  • Remove your uvula with a spoon. The uvula is a piece of fleshy tissue that hangs over the back of your throat
  • Try to accidentally burp
  • Bring the knee to the chest and keep this position
  • Try Valsalva maneuvers by covering your mouth and nose. Then exhale forcibly
  • Relax and breathe slowly and in control


If you have a hiccup for more than 48 hours, then contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor may try abdominal pumping techniques or rub the main carotid artery in the neck. However, if the cause of the hiccup is unclear, the Doctor will recommend several tests to help detect the underlying disease or condition.


The following tests may be useful in determining the cause of persistent or difficult-to-overcome hiccups:

  • To detect signs of infection, diabetes or kidney disease, blood tests are performed
  • Liver function test
  • Diaphragm imaging with chest X-ray, CT scan, or MRI
  • Echocardiogram to assess heart function
  • An endoscopy, which utilizes a thin, light tube with a camera at the end to investigate the esophagus, throat, stomach, and intestines
  • Bronchoscopy, using a thin, light tube with a camera at the end to examine the lungs and airways


How to prevent hiccups?

When consuming drinks and food should do it slowly and do not rush. However, if the hiccup is caused by an emotional condition, being nervous or stressed should take a deep breath and try to calm down, so that the hiccups disappear.


Why Can Babies Hiccup?

In both infants, children, and adults, hiccups occur due to the chest diaphragm muscles contracting while the city’s vocal cords close rapidly. It is this fast closing of the vocal cords that creates the sound of hiccups.

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Hiccups in children and adults usually occur as a result of drinking soda in a hurry. It’s different from a baby. Hiccups that happen to babies are not always reasonable.

However, babies do tend to hiccup frequently after breastfeeding. This is because, during breastfeeding, She may have swallowed air by accident which then got stuck in her stomach. The gas then rises upwards and pushes the contracting diaphragm causing hiccups.

However, there are times when the air trapped in the baby’s stomach does not immediately result in hiccups right away.


How to prevent and overcome hiccups in babies?

Hiccups can occur at any time, including when the baby is asleep. However, in reality, the baby is not affected by anything if it happens in the middle of his sleep. Hiccups have no impact on the work of the baby’s respiratory system. Many babies experience this during sleep and stay fine until it’s time to wake up later.

Although harmless, hiccups can be quite annoying, especially if they occur during sleep.

Here are some things you can do to solve the baby’s hiccup problem:

Make sure the baby’s mouth is completely attached to the nipple when breastfeeding

Babies can hiccup as a result of swallowing air during breastfeeding. This is likely to happen because the baby’s mouth is less properly attached to the mother’s nipple. If there is still space between the nipple and the baby’s lips, air can also enter the baby’s body.


Make your little one burp after breastfeeding

How to make a baby burp is quite easy. Carry him in a strapping position and face your body. Rub or gently pat the baby’s back until he belches. Don’t pat his back too hard or tightly.

You can also set the baby upright on the lap, then gently wipe the shoulder blade area several times until he burps.


Feed more often with small portions

So that the baby does not often hiccup, try slowly to feed or breastfeed with smaller portions, but with more frequent intensity. This method is considered effective to prevent the baby’s stomach from filling up so that the risk of hiccups is even smaller.

Also, know about How Long Is Breast Milk Good In The Fridge.


When to see a doctor?

Here are the symptoms that you need to pay attention to, and consult a doctor:

  • If the hiccup lasts more than 3 hours and is quite annoying when eating, breathing, or sleeping.
  • If severe abdominal pain, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, shortness of throat, weight loss, or bloody cough.
  • If the hiccup lasts more than 48 hours or if it is very severe, it causes problems when eating, sleeping, or breathing.

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