How Do Hiccups Occur, And What Can Help Against Them?

Everyone knows it; nobody likes it: the hiccups. The medical name for the hicksen is Singultus. Many home remedies can help the hiccups stop quickly. Before that, however, the question arises: where does it come from?

The diaphragm triggers the hiccups

There is a large muscle in the upper body that separates the chest from the abdomen. This is called the diaphragm muscle and is essential because it controls our breathing or influences breathing. The phrenic nerve provides the innervation of the diaphragm. If this nerve is irritated, the diaphragm is also irritated. When this muscle contracts in an uncontrolled manner, the glottis reflexively closes. The inhaled air now bounces against the closed glottis, the resulting pressure discharges and the typical hiccup can be heard.

Even unborn babies have hiccups

Hiccups have already been demonstrated in unborn babies in the womb. It is believed that this trains the breathing reflex. Babies are also much more likely to have hiccups than adults. Researchers believe that the hiccups are used to move air out of the stomach – similar to burping. This ensures more effective food intake.

This helps against hiccups

There is no natural remedy for hiccups. Instead, the following measures serve to relax and draw the person’s attention to something else: Brooding over something, taking small sips of water, closing ears and nose with your fingers and swallowing with your mouth closed, holding your breath or being frightened. When the person concerned is distracted, breathing relaxes, and so does the diaphragm.

Do you have to see a doctor with hiccups?

If hiccups occur very frequently or persist for a long time, a doctor should be consulted. The hiccups could be a symptom of gastrointestinal or liver disease. If hiccups accompany symptoms such as nausea, visual disturbances, headaches, or speech disorders, a doctor should immediately consult. These symptoms could indicate a stroke.

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