What Causes Hiccups? The Physiology of Hiccuping.
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What Causes Hiccups? The Physiology of Hiccuping.

This article was written as a response to the question: Why do people get hiccups?
causes of hiccups

What causes hiccups? It happens when that part of the body called diaphragm (the dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your chest) gets a sudden, involuntary contraction or spasm. Everytime a spasm occur, there is a quick intake of breath which results to a hiccup. Until now, the science community is still figuring out the reason why it occurs in the first place moreso, its significance in the body's normal functioning. A clinical explanation states that the phrenic nerve, which is a kind of nerve found from the cervical to the neck region of the spine, supplies movement to the diaphragm.principally in the process of breathing.

The bigger question is what causes the diaphragm to contract? Well, aside from the normal respiratory process, eating and drinking too quickly might trigger a hiccup. The kind of food that we take may also trigger that spasm like very cold or hot food or even spicy ones. Even talking while eating or taking alcoholic beverages can be the culprit.

In general, any quck intake of breath during a good laugh, a bad sneeze or woofing cough may cause a hiccup. There may even be instances that there are no known reasons, it just happens.

Now how to stop that annoying hiccup may also vary. When I was a child, my grand parents often get be a brown paper bag and breath covering my mouth with it everytime I have a hiccup. Believe it  or not, I still do it now. Some of my friends tell me they were caught by surprise from behind, get scared or even hold their breath and count from 1 to 10 to shoo the hiccup away.

To really ward off the hiccup, it would be better if you take a slow gulp of water slightly tilting the head upward to end the abnormal contraction. This is to normalize the contraction process of the diaphragm. Others recommend to eat something that is hard to swallow will cure the hiccup. But if you ask me, drinking water is the way to go. Nothing beats a refreshing drink.

There may be cases that hiccups do not go off by doing all the things mentioned above. In which case, a medical attiention is needed. Doctors may induce the patient some sedatives which aims to interrupt the hiccup so that the diaphragm will work normal again.

The next time you get a hiccup, make sure a bottle or glass of water is readily available, if not then try the other suggested cures. Generally, hiccups is not a cause of alarm or to panic. We all have experieced it somewhow.

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Comments (2)
Primo

A recent Scientific American article talked about how hiccupping may be more complex than what we think... It may be an evolutionary remnant from amphibian ancestors! I thought that was kind of cool... http://www.get-rid-of-hiccups.com/What-Causes-The-Hiccups.html

Primo

A recent Scientific American article talked about how hiccupping may be more complex than what we think... It may be an evolutionary remnant from amphibian ancestors! I thought that was kind of cool... http://www.get-rid-of-hiccups.com/What-Causes-The-Hiccups.html

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