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.
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.
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
- 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.