Table of Contents
- Hiccup definition and facts
- Why do we hiccup?
- What causes hiccups?
- What about hiccups in infants and babies?
- What are the symptoms of hiccups?
- When should I contact my doctor for hiccups?
- How are hiccups diagnosed?
- How can I stop, get rid of, or cure hiccups?
- Is there medical treatment for hiccups?
- Are there any complications of hiccups?
- Can hiccups be prevented?
Why do we hiccup?
Hiccups (also spelled hiccough) are sudden, involuntary contractions (spasms) of the diaphragm muscle. When the muscle spasms, the vocal cords snap shut, producing the hiccup sound.
Hiccups are often rhythmic. They are usually just a temporary minor annoyance, but prolonged hiccups may signal a major medical problem. The longest recorded hiccup attack is six decades!
Women and men tend to get hiccups equally as often, but hiccups that last more than 48 hours are more common in men. Hiccups can even occur in a fetus while still in utero.
The medical term for hiccups is singultus, which comes from the Latin word for “gasp” or “sob.”