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Why do we hiccup?

By September 12, 2014 - 5:00pm
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Every once in a while I get a case of the hiccups. Why do we hiccup? What causes hiccups?

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Beth -

What I great question! I get hiccups at times as well, but never really thought about the cause until I saw your question.

Hiccups occur when your the diaphragm becomes irritated - the diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of the chest. Most of the time the diaphragm helps pull air into the lungs when you inhale, and then relaxes and helps air go back out of the lungs when you exhale.

You get hiccups when the diaphragm is irritated, which can be from eating too fast, eating too much, nerves, irritants in the throat or stomach, and other causes. The irritation causes the diaphragm to pull down and suck air into your throat which hits your voice box and closes your vocal cords, causing a hiccup.

While short term hiccups can be a nuisance, long term hiccups can be a sign of a medical problem. Please see this article written for the EmpowHER community for more information - Long-Term and Intractable Hiccups.

Now we both know more about hiccups. Hope this helps and thanks again for your question.



September 12, 2014 - 5:45pm
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