Hiccups is an unconscious and involuntary jerk and contraction of human diaphragm that may continue to happen more than once in a rhythmic manner per second or within a minute. This might also be called the SDF or the synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. It is also known as the singultus. It involves the reflex arc movement. When the reflex is triggered, it causes the diaphragm to contract back and forth.
It takes almost 0.25 seconds or more that closes the vocal chords and causes to it to make a hic sound. While this happens, the suppression of the esophagus occurs. Hiccups can occur maybe individually or in a chain of bouts. The hiccup rhythm or the timings between the hiccups is usually constant. Hiccups can cure itself with any help required, including home remedies. At times medical treatment might be required to cure occasional hiccups.
Causes of Short Term Hiccups:
The most common causes for short term hiccups include the following:
- Eating too much food in a quick succession
- Drinking gas filled or carbonated beverages
- Taking an excessive amount of alcoholic beverages
- Sudden temperature changes
- Excitement , psychological anxiety or emotional stress
Causes of Long Term Hiccups:
Hiccups which last more than 48 hours could possibly be the result of a variety of factors, and are generally grouped into the following categories:
Nerve damage or irritation
The most common cause of long term hiccups is irritation or damage to the vagus or phrenic nerves, which innervate the muscles of the diaphragm. Important Factors that triggers damage to both these nerves include:
- A hair or something else in your ear touching your eardrum
- Sore throat or laryngitis
- A tumor, cyst or goiter in the neck
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Central nervous system disorders
An infection or tumor in the brain or central nervous system or irritation to your brain as a result of trauma can alter the body’s normal control mechanism of the hiccup reflex. These Examples include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Drugs and Metabolic disorders
The following medications and disorders can trigger Long term hiccups
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Kidney failure
Treatment for Hiccups:
In case of severe hiccups, they are treatable. Various medical remedies including particular treatment could be very effective. Drugs like baclofen, gabapentin, metoclopramide, chlorpromazine, and various proton-pump inhibitors are quite effective in treating hiccups. Home treatments, like drinking water is quite effective. If you have hypertension, use a paper bag to breathe carbon dioxide into it.
Hiccups can also be cured with treatments like Vagus nerve stimulation. This is also one kind of home remedy that can happen by simply swallowing some crushed ice or some bread that applies traction to the tongue or through stimulation of the gag reflex. Hiccups that are caused through imbalance of electrolytes could be treated by drinking some carbonated beverage that contains salt in them. The carbonation is effective in promoting quicker absorption.