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Hiccups: What causes them Hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of your diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. This involuntary contraction causes your vocal cords to close very briefly, which produces the characteristic sound of a hiccup.
After the involuntary contraction, your vocal cords will rapidly shut. This is what causes the sound that comes with the hiccups. Hiccups usually last a few minutes or hours and are not a medical concern. However, if your hiccups last longer than two days, they are considered chronic or persistent.
There is no clear cause of hiccups, but excitement, stress, or consuming specific food or drinks, such as fizzy soda, may trigger them. Hiccups usually go away within a few minutes, but occasionally they may affect someone for hours. Hiccups lasting longer than 48 hours are classed as chronic and considered a serious medical condition.
Hiccups can happen for a lot of reasons -- some of them are physical, and some emotional. That’s because the actual irritation happens in the nerve connecting the brain to the diaphragm. Some common causes include: Eating too much or too quickly.
In some cases, persistent hiccups are caused by an underlying disease. Over 100 diseases have been reported to cause hiccups. Some are common, such as acid reflux, and some are rare. You would normally have other symptoms apart from the hiccups. In some cases of persistent hiccups there is no apparent cause.
Chronic hiccups, which are generally defined as hiccups that last more than 48 hours, can occur due to an underlying medical condition, although sometimes they occur without an obvious cause. Conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux, pericarditis, and hiatal hernias can cause repeated hiccups.
A hiccup (also spelled hiccough) is an involuntary contraction (myoclonic jerk) of the diaphragm that may repeat several times per minute. The hiccup is an involuntary action involving a reflex arc. Once triggered, the reflex causes a strong contraction of the diaphragm followed about 0.25 second later by closure of the vocal cords, which results in the classic "hic" sound. Hiccups may occur individually, or they may occur in bouts. The rhythm of the hiccup, or the time between hiccups, tends to be relatively constant. A bout of hiccups, in general, resolves itself without intervention, although many home remedies are often used to attempt to shorten the duration. Medical treatment is occasionally necessary in cases of chronic hiccups.
Abdominal bloating is a symptom that can appear at any age, generally associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders or organic diseases, but can also appear alone. The person feels a full and tight abdomen. Although this term is usually used interchangeably with abdominal distension, these symptoms probably have different pathophysiological processes, which are not fully understood. The first step for the management is to find a treatment for the underlying causes that produce it through a detailed medical history and a physical examination. The discomfort can be alleviated by the use of certain drugs and dietary modifications.
Francis Miller Fesmire (November 16, 1959 – January 31, 2014) was an American emergency physician and a nationally recognized expert in myocardial infarction. He authored numerous academic articles and assisted in the development of clinical guidelines on the standard of care in treating patients with suspected myocardial infarction by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology. He performed numerous research investigations in chest pain patients, reporting the usefulness of continuous 12-lead ECG monitoring, two-hour delta cardiac marker testing, and nuclear cardiac stress testing in the emergency department. The culmination of his studies was The Erlanger Chest Pain Evaluation Protocol published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in 2002. In 2011 he published a novel Nashville Skyline that received a 5 star review by ForeWord Reviews. His most recent research involved the risk stratification of chest pain patients in the emergency department. He died unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. He was 54.