9 Common Causes of Hiccups

Hiccups, also known as hiccoughs [1], are involuntary sounds made by spasms of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped structure that separates the chest and abdominal cavity in humans. The spasms caused by the muscle alongside others in the respiratory process lead to the sharp closing of the epiglottis causes the famous ‘hic’ sound of hiccups.

Although hiccups do not have any medical effects, they only last for a few minutes before they clear up on their own. However, they might become uncomfortable after a few minutes if they do not stop or subside. Hiccups that last for days or weeks may be signs of respiratory problems and diseases and a physician should be consulted as soon as it is detected.

Major/ Popular Causes of Hiccups

Drinking a lot of alcohol

Drinking an unhealthy amount [2] of alcohol can already cause you a range of medical problems. Besides that, it can also cause hiccups. Consuming a lot of alcohol promotes acid reflux, which can irritate the esophagus and, by extension, irritate the vagus nerve residing in the esophagus and trigger hiccups.