July 23, 2016

Hiccups

What causes hiccups?

Most of the time, there is no obvious cause for hiccups. However, there are some common known causes of hiccups.

Some causes of hiccups include:

  • Eating too quickly and swallowing air along with foods.
  • Eating too much (fatty or spicy foods, in particular) or drinking too much (carbonated beverages or alcohol) can distend the stomach and irritate the diaphragm, which can cause hiccups.
  • Any disease or disorder that irritates the nerves that control the diaphragm (such as liver disease, pneumonia, or other lung disorders).
  • Abdominal surgery can also irritate the nerves that control the diaphragm, causing hiccups.
  • Strokes or brain tumors involving the brain stem, and some chronic medical disorders (such as renal failure) have also been reported to cause hiccups.
  • noxious fumes can also trigger hiccups.
  • sudden changes in temperature
  • fear or excitement

Some medications may also have hiccups as a side effect, for example:

  • medications for acid reflux
  • most benzodiazepines, including diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam (Ativan)
  • levodopa, nicotine, and ondansetron (Zofran)
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Reviewed on 7/15/2015