Why do people get hiccups?

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Why do people get hiccups?

Diaphragm is the respiratory muscle present in between the chest and the abdomen. It helps in breathing by moving up and down and allowing the air to go in and come out of the lungs. Hiccups are resulted from muscle spasms of the diaphragm. Hiccups are initiated when we eat too much or when we don’t gulp in the food properly after chewing, or when we swallow too much air. There are still many reasons for getting hiccups like constipation, tuberculosis etc.

Hiccups are sharp deep inhalations of air caused by involuntary spasms of diaphragm which increases the volume of chest with breathed air. Simultaneously, glottis gets closed. This event can occur due to irritation of diaphragm that can be caused by full stomach and the inflammation of membrane surrounding the Heart. When the diaphragm moves down in jerky way then the air that is inhaled goes suddenly into throat and hits the voice box. This will produce a sound like ‘hic’. Eating spicy food, very hot or very cold food also may cause hiccups. Drinking alcohol, sneezing, laughing or coughing may sometimes lead to hiccups.

Each one of us has our own way of curing these hiccups. Some people would suggest drinking glass full of water, some will go for holding breath for few seconds and raising the arms, some scaring the person with hiccups and there are still some more ways to cure hiccups. But most of us agree with drinking water as the best way of stopping them. The Phrenic nerve that controls the diaphragm is found to be responsible for these spasms. For those who have hiccups as chronic are prescribed normally with chlorpromazine drug. But it is still a question regarding the main reason for getting hiccups. Doctors could find out that hiccups will not serve any useful purpose.

Author: Hari M

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