Why do we have Hiccups?

There is no specified time that one can expect hiccups, they are so unpredictable and can occur anytime. In many cases, the situation becomes really annoying as continuous hiccups can intrude while someone is having a conversation or eating food.

You lose the track completely as hiccups causes intervals and this has a negative impact on your mood. Every individual experience a unique pattern of hiccups that may consist of four to six hiccups in a minute. Everybody seems bothered about the hiccups if they continue for a longer span of time.

Nobody can guess the cause due to which hiccups start suddenly and abruptly. People try different ways and theories to deal with hiccups and there are other peculiar myths that can stop hiccups. Before heading to the symptoms and treatment to stop hiccups, we must know what hiccups are and how we can control them.

What are Hiccups? Hiccups are also known as (singultus) which occurs due to the repetitive unavoidable contractions of the diaphragm, the muscle that is present right at the bottom of the lungs and establishes a boundary line between the abdomen and the chest. It is responsible for regulating the smooth breathing process.

When the breathing is out of rhythm; it produces intervals known as hiccups. The diaphragm spasm causes a rush of air towards the lungs as vocal cords and larynx close suddenly. In return, the body resonates and creates a hiccup sound. Hiccups can also be spelled as “hiccoughs”.

Usually, the hiccups stop normally within an hour, without the need of any medical treatment but in many serious cases, hiccups last for more than 48 hours. Such hiccups are classified into two major types.


  • While you breathe in hold your breath for 10 seconds, release it. Repeat this process for three to four times every twenty minutes.
  • Take a paper bag and breathe into it but make sure you don’t cover the head with it.
  • Take a few drops of vinegar and pour them directly into your mouth.
  • Cut a lemon slice and suck the juice as you suck a candy.

CAUSES OF HICCUPS: Following may be a few causes:

  • Overeating
  • Stress or emotional excitement
  • Changes in temperature
  • Too much accumulation of chewing gum as it allows more and more air to swallow
  • Too much intake of Alcohol
  • Excessive use of fizzy and carbonated drinks

RISK FACTORS: As compared with men, women are less likely to experience long-term hiccups. Following other reasons can also contribute to generating hiccups:

MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL ISSUES: Anxiety, stress, and excitement can create hiccups which may occur for short or long term span depending upon the intensity of emotional outcome.

SURGERY: Patients who experience extensive surgeries related to abdominal organs and general anesthesia are more likely to become victim to hiccups.