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Hiccups

Hiccups Overview

Hiccups are sudden, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. As the muscle contracts repeatedly, the opening between the vocal cords snaps shut to check the inflow of air and makes the hiccup sound. Irritation of the nerves that extend from the neck to the chest can cause hiccups.

Although associated with a variety of ailments (some can be serious such as pneumonia or when harmful substances build up in the blood for example from kidney failure), hiccups are not serious and have no clear reason for occurring. Rarely, their presence causes health problems such as speech changes or interference with eating and sleeping.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2013
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hiccups »

The term "hiccup" derives from the sound of the event. "Hiccough" erroneously implies an association with respiratory reflexes.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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