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Continuous Hiccups Can Be a Warning Sign For Cancer, Tumors or Stroke
Almost everyone has experienced hiccups at least once in their life. The frequency of having hiccups becomes rarer as you get older and men are more likely to have hiccups than women. It has been discovered that hiccups start when you are a baby and they happen to allow air that is trapped in the stomach during sucking to escape and allow more milk to be ingested.
Some of the common causes of hiccups are eating too fast or too much; drinking too much alcohol; smoking; laughing; sudden temperature change in your stomach (drinking something hot and then immediately drinking something cold). Carbonated drinks including beer can also initiate hiccups. There are also medical reasons that can cause you to hiccup: certain medications (opiates and benzodiazepines); have a metabolic disease; diabetes; kidney failure; electrolyte imbalance; or deviated septum.
Hiccups Can Diagnose a Serious Illness
The medical term for Hiccups is synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. The muscle located between the chest and abdomen is essential for breathing. When you have the hiccups, they will make this muscle work involuntarily. Contractually it will affect your vocal cords and you will hear the “hic” sound. Hence Hiccup’s name became the layman’s terminology.
People seem to view hiccups as more of a nuisance than a symptom of a more serious condition. There are different and more threatening causes that a doctor should consider. If your episode of hiccups lasts for an extended period of time – more than 48 hours they are called persistent hiccups. If they last at least a month or more, they are called intractable hiccups. These types have more severe diagnosed causes such as tumors; cancer; stroke, infections or injuries and a doctor should be consulted.
If you have damage or irritation to the nerves that travel from the brain to the diaphragm, this can be a possible cause of prolonged hiccups. These nerves can be irritated by hair or some other object in your ear that touches your eardrum. Damage can occur from a sore throat, laryngitis, acid reflux, or a cyst, goitre, or tumor in your neck.
Home Remedies for Frequent Hiccups
There are many simple home remedies for hiccups.
- Drink a full glass of water – this will calm the nerves that irritate the muscle. Gargling will also help.
- Hold your breath – pinch your nose and close your mouth. Hold your breath as long as you can.
- Breathe into a paper bag – this works just like holding your breath. They both increase the amount of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream.
- Place a teaspoon of sugar or honey on the back of your tongue – the back of the tongue is where “sour” is tasted. Putting the sugar in there will give you an overload of sweetness that will help stop the hiccups.
The usual duration of having frequent hiccups is only a few minutes or a few hours. If they don’t go away in that time, try some of the remedies above. If you still have hiccups after 48 hours, it may be a good time to contact your doctor’s office and get their assessment of the situation.
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