Hiccups, scientifically known as singultus, are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords, resulting in the characteristic “hic” sound. This reflex can occur due to various reasons, often harmless but occasionally indicative of underlying health issues.

Common causes include sudden changes in stomach temperature or irritation of the diaphragm, such as eating too quickly, consuming carbonated beverages, or experiencing emotional stress. Other triggers may involve overeating, drinking alcohol, or swallowing air excessively.

Persistent or chronic hiccups lasting more than 48 hours can signal a potential underlying medical condition, including nerve damage, gastrointestinal disorders, or metabolic disorders. These cases may require medical evaluation to identify and address the root cause.

Treatment for hiccups typically involves simple home remedies like holding your breath, drinking water, or breathing into a paper bag to increase carbon dioxide levels. However, persistent hiccups may necessitate medical intervention, including medications or procedures to alleviate symptoms and address any underlying issues.

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