Diaphragm is the muscle which separates our chest from our abdomen and plays a vital role in breathing. When this muscle contracts we get hiccups. Every time the diaphragm contracts it is followed by a sudden closure of our vocal cords and this is why a typical “hic” sound is produced.

There are many causes why we get hiccups. For most people they only last for a few minutes. Hiccups can also stay for months in some cases. If prolonged for a while they can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If they last for months they can cause problem like exhaustion and weight loss.


Here are some of the symptoms which you need to discuss with your doctor if you have them;

  • Hiccups last more than 48 hours
  • If they are causing problems in
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Breathing


There are a number of factors which trigger the hiccups which last less than 48 hours. These factors include;

  • Eating a big meal
  • In-take of too much alcohol
  • Over-excitement
  • Emotional stress
  • Sudden temperature shift in the body


Hiccups which last more than 48 hours can be triggered because of;

  • Irritation or nerve damage
  • Laryngitis or Sore throat
  • A cyst, goiter or tumor in your neck
  • Gastroesophageal reflex
  • A hair touching your eardrum

Central nervous system disorders

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Tumors
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke
  • Encephalitis

Drugs and metabolic disorders

  • Barbiturates
  • Anesthesia
  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Steroids
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Kidney diseases
  • Tranquilizers

Risk factors

Science says men are much more prone to get long-term hiccups than women. There are a lot of risk factors included which can give you short-term and long-term hiccups;


Mental health issues:

Studies say that short-term and long-term hiccups are associated with mental health issues, stress, anxiety and even over excitement.

Surgical procedures:

People often develop hiccups after going through any surgical procedures mainly which involve the abdominal region.


Some complications are caused by prolonged hiccups which include;

  • A tension/slight pain in your chest
  • Problem in breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Speaking problems
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Slow healing of wounds after a surgery

If you are having any of these symptoms mentioned above or you are facing any of these complications after getting a prolonged hiccup que, consult your doctor as soon as you can. Happy living!

Posted by:Aqeela Nawaz Malik

A free soul.

Leave a Reply