What causes hiccups in adults?

what causes hiccups in adults

Hiccups are a normal physiological phenomenon. The mechanism of hiccups is due to stimulation of the brain-diaphragmatic reflex arc or the phrenic-diaphragmatic nerve. A hiccup usually lasts an average of 5 to 10 minutes but can last for hours or even days, as noted in the Guinness Book of Records, Charles Osborne’s 68-year hiccups (1894) -1991). The frequency of hiccups varies from person to person, on average from 2 to 60 times/minute. Let’s find out what causes hiccups in adults in this article!

Causes of hiccups

There are many causes of hiccups

The stomach is stretched: After eating, drinking carbonated drinks causes the stomach to expand quickly, creating short hiccups, lasting no more than 48 hours.

Changes in temperature: Sudden changes in temperature create hiccups. The mechanism of heat-induced hiccups is still unclear.

Stress: As with temperature changes, a link between stress and hiccups has not been found.

Surgery: After surgery on the chest and abdomen. The vagus nerve and the phrenic nerve are stimulated, causing hiccups.

Nerve stimulation: Two important nerves, the vagus nerve, and the phrenic nerve regulate the contraction of the diaphragm. Irritation of these nerves can cause hiccups that last for more than 48 hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, common culprits for irritation are hair or something touching your eardrum, a sore throat, a tumor in your neck, a goiter, or reflux.

How to get rid of hiccups?

Because hiccups do not affect health, hiccups do not need treatment, but it brings discomfort and discomfort. There are many ways to cure hiccups using common, common items available at your home.

Swallow a spoonful of sugar

This is a folk trick that mothers do when their children have hiccups. The mechanism is that when sugar particles stimulate the lining of the esophagus, causing the nerves to reset themselves, the diaphragm no longer constricts continuously and does not produce hiccups.

Suck on an ice

If you have hiccups during the summer, you can take a small ice cube a day from the refrigerator to cure your hiccups. You keep it in your mouth or ask someone to suddenly rub ice on your face to make it easier to stop the hiccups. If you feel too cold when the ice rubs on, wrap a thin cloth and rub it on your face.

Drink water

Taking sips of water or using a straw can also help stop hiccups.

Deep breath

You take a deep breath and hold your breath for as long as possible at least 10 seconds, then you exhale through your mouth gently, repeating several times until the hiccups stop. When you breathe deeply, the diaphragm tightens and prevents the muscle from contracting. This is an effective cure for hiccups.


When drinking honey, honey will create impulses that are transmitted by the vagus nerve directly from the brain to the stomach, not through the diaphragm, so that the diaphragm does not contract continuously.

Cover both hands

When you cover your ears, you stimulate the branches of the vagus nerve to create new reflex arcs that stop the hiccups. How to do: Cover your ears for 5 minutes, rub your hands rhythmically, and avoid pressing hard to cause ear pain.


Although fear is the cause of hiccups, it is itself a way to help hiccups. This method has been applied by many people and gives very good results.

Carotid artery compression

Using two fingers to press firmly on the carotid arteries on both sides causes inhibition of the recurrent nerve, thereby reducing the stimulation of diaphragmatic contraction. These are ways to help you answer the question “How to stop hiccups?”. As a result, you have eliminated unwanted discomfort. If the hiccups last for more than 48 hours or recur, this is a symptom of the disease, you need to go to a specialized medical facility for appropriate treatment.

Final thought

There are many causes of hiccups. You can apply the above mechanical measures to cure hiccups. However, persistent hiccups can signal serious health problems. Therefore, see your doctor when hiccups persist for the best advice.

Top News hopes this article helps you learn more about what causes hiccups in adults and wishes your health is always fine!

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