Hiccups

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Question

What causes hiccups and how can I stop them?

Answer

The cause of hiccups is spasms of the diaphragm and they generally last a few minutes. Hiccups can be triggered for many reasons including: eating too much or too fast, excitement or nerves, alcohol consumption, irritation of the throat from hot or spicy foods and drinks, abdominal surgery and harmful fumes. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet remedy for hiccups, but some well-known suggestions for stopping hiccups include drinking a glass of cold water, eating a teaspoon of sugar, holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag. But if hiccups last longer than 24 hours, you should call your doctor as this could be a symptom of a more serious medical problem.

Find more information about hiccups in our Health Encyclopedia.

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