Hiccups is an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm muscle that results in a characteristic cough-like "hic" sound due to closure of the vocal cords. Hiccups are common and can affect anyone. Eating or drinking too quickly is a common cause of hiccups. Sometimes a cause for hiccups cannot be identified. Any event that causes irritation to the diaphragm or the nerves that supply the diaphragm can cause hiccups. Medical causes such as nerve damage, stroke, and tumors are rare causes of hiccups. Babies may have hiccups after bouts of crying or coughing. Most cases of hiccups resolve on their own. Breath-holding and drinking a glass of water are common ways to stop hiccups. Medications are only given as treatment for severe and persistent hiccups that do not resolve.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Hiccups
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems,...
Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults (Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatment Options, Life Expectancy)
Brain and spinal tumor are diseases in which cancer (malignant) cells begin to grow in the tissues of the brain. Tumors that...
Brain Tumor (Symptoms, Signs, Types, Causes, Survival Rates)
A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary...
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or...
Hiccups (Causes, Cures, Remedies, and Medicine)
Hiccups are a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. In general hiccups are just a temporary condition. Some of...
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Other Causes of Hiccups
Examples of Medications for Hiccups
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter