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What Causes Hiccups?

Hiccup Causes

Story at-a-glance -

  • Hiccups are the result of an involuntary spasm of your diaphragm, which causes the space between your vocal cords to close, leading to the characteristic “hic” sound
  • Overeating, acid reflux, drinking alcohol or carbonated beverages, or emotional stress can trigger hiccups
  • In rare cases, long-term hiccups may be caused by traumatic brain injury, tumors, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, and more
  • If your hiccups last longer than 48 hours, see a physician to rule out a potentially serious underlying problem

By Dr. Mercola

Hiccups are the result of an involuntary spasm of your diaphragm, which is a muscle in your chest that plays a role in breathing. As your diaphragm tightens, the space between your vocal cords closes, leading to the characteristic "hic" sound.


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