Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hiccups can be very annoying and often happen at the most inappropriate times. What causes hiccups and what can you do to stop them? Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at hiccups in the 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hiccups are caused by a sudden contraction of the diaphragm, the muscle between the bottom of the lungs and the abdomen. Hiccups are usually very short lived and disappear after a few seconds or minutes. They can be very common in infant children.

Some hiccups can be very debilitating and persist for days, months and even years.

Common causes for hiccups include:

normal physiology, the most common cause

abdominal surgery

lung infections or tumors that irritate the phrenic nerve that travels through the chest to the diaphragm muscle

spicy hot foods, and

a stroke that affects the hiccup center in the brain

To stop a bout of the hiccups, you can try:

breathing into a paper bag

drinking a glass of cold water

eating a teaspoon of sugar, and

holding your breath.

Contact your physician if hiccups persist for more than a day.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.