Hiccups are a non-specific disturbance of the function of external respiration, which occurs as a result of a series of convulsive jerky contractions of the diaphragm and is subjectively manifested by unpleasant short and intense respiratory movements. One of the possible symptoms of hypothermia, overeating and other conditions.

Types of hiccups

  • episodic
  • prolonged

Causes of hiccups

In some people, hiccups occur due to psychological reasons, it resembles reactions with transient paralysis in soldiers who are afraid of battle. In such cases, hiccups are unconscious and reflect a desire to avoid very unpleasant events.

Periodically occurring hiccups is a fairly harmless phenomenon. However, in the presence of prolonged hiccups, signs of more severe disorders may be detected. People who have undergone surgery on the stomach or spine often have difficulty breathing due to prolonged bouts of hiccups. Some individuals experience hiccups in the postoperative period, which may be a reaction to pain relief products.

According to experts, such involuntary muscle contractions may come from the esophagus. Swallowing disorders and food stuck in the esophagus provoke nerve spasms at the point where the esophagus passes into the stomach.

With the development of renal failure, constant or intermittent hiccups may also be observed. It is the result of the development of an abscess or tumor in the chest, diaphragm or esophagus.

The main symptoms of hiccups

Ordinary hiccups are manifestations of a nervous tic. This occurs under the influence of the phrenic nerve, which, for unknown reasons, transmits excitation to the muscles of the diaphragm. The result is uncontrollable spasms.

Hiccup treatment

Despite the significant advances in medicine over the many years of its existence, there is still no reliable treatment for these minor spasms.

To get rid of hiccups, you need to stop spasms of the diaphragm and esophagus. This can be done either by distraction, or with the help of breathing techniques. Usually this is sufficient.

When should you see a doctor?

  • If the hiccups continue for more than an hour.
  • If bouts of hiccups appear several times every day or several days a week.
  • If, in addition to hiccups, you have chest pain, heartburn, or trouble swallowing.

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