How often do you experience hiccups? In most cases, a number of individuals experience hiccups but fail to seek any form of medication. The Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and the muscles, which separate the chest from the abdomen. The hiccup sound will be produced when the muscle spasms and the vocal cords snap shut.
What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups may be caused by a number of factors like; too much eating, sudden changes in temperature, drinking too much alcohol, and drinking of carbohydrate drinks. Besides these, hiccups may also occur when you swallow air with sucking on candy or chewing gum and excitement or emotional stress among others. These are the causes of the common triggers of hiccup that will last less than 48-hours.
In other cases, hiccups may last more than 48-hours. The hiccups that last more than 48-hours are likely to be caused by other factors like;
Central Nervous System Disorder
This is a tumor infection that causes damage to the nerve system. When you suffer from such the tumor, it will disrupt the functions of the body to cause hiccups. Some of the common hiccup reflex that may result from this include; meningitis, stroke, and encephalitis among others.
Metabolic Disorder and Drugs
This is another major cause of hiccups that will last for more than 48 hours. The hiccups can be triggered by factors like; diabetes, steroids, alcoholism, and kidney disease among others.
Nerve Damage or Irritation
When damage or irritation occurs to the phrenic or vagus nerves, then one is likely to experience a hiccup lasting more than 48-hours. This is because the nerves always serve the diaphragm muscle. There are a number of factors that may bring about the damage or irritation of these nerves like; a sore throat or laryngitis, tumor, goiter or cyst in the neck area, and gastroesophageal reflux. Besides this, it may also happen as a result of hair or any other thing in the ear touching the eardrum.
Hiccup Risk Factors
Did you know that women have a lower chance of suffering from long-term hiccup than men? In most cases, it is the men who will suffer from the long-term hiccups compared to women. Apart from this, the other risk factors that may bring about hiccups include;
The process of surgery has also been associated with hiccups. You will have a higher chance of suffering from long–term hiccup after procedures that may involve abdominal organs or undergoing general anesthesia among others.
Emotional or Mental Issues
A number of emotional or mental issues have also been associated with hiccups. For example, stress, excitement, anxiety have been associated with both long term and short-term hiccups.
Side Effects of Long-Term Hiccups
Suffering from hiccups that last more than 48-hours may bring about a number of complications. For example, you may have low appetite or difficulty in eating, inability to express yourself better, and lack of sleep. Besides this, it may also reduce the chances of wound healing after surgery.
Symptoms of Hiccups
There aren’t many symptoms of hiccups but whenever you experience long hiccups that last more than 48-hours, it is recommended that you visit the doctor. Some of the major symptoms include; hiccups itself, the slight tightening sensation of the throat, abdomen, and chest.
The process of diagnosing hiccup may involve a number of processes that involve neurological processes. Some of these include; reflexes, sight and sense touch, balance and coordination, and muscle strength and tone among others. The diagnosis may also be carried out through laboratory tests. These can be through the sampling of blood to determine the signs of infection, kidney disease, and diabetes among others.
The other hiccups diagnosis may be done through imaging tests. This is to detect if the anatomical abnormalities may have affected you vagus nerve or the diaphragm. The imaging tests may include; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), chest X-ray, and computerized tomography (CT). Lastly, the diagnosis may also be carried out by endoscopic tests. This is a process that uses a thin and flexible tube with a tiny camera. It is passed down to the throat in order to check for any problem with the windpipe or esophagus.
The more serious hiccups are those that will last for more than 48-hours. This, therefore, implies that when you experience such types of hiccups, it is recommended that you visit your doctor sooner. The process of treating can be through medication. The drugs ideal for the treatment of hiccups include; baclofen, metoclopramide, and chlorpromazine. It may also be treated with surgical and other procedures.
Specialties of Doctors Who Treats Hiccups
There are a number of specialties who may treat hiccups depending on the cause of the hiccup. For example, when the cause is acid reflux, then you need to visit a gastroenterologist. On the other hand, when the cause of the hiccups is a neurological disorder like stroke, then you should visit a neurologist. Lastly, when the cause of the hiccup is pneumonia or lung disease, then it is advisable to see a pulmonologist.
These are some of the basic information about hiccups that you need to be informed about. In most cases, hiccups may not last for more than 48-hours, but in case you suffer from one that lasts more than 48-hours, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Always visit your doctor and you will get the appropriate medication.
About the Author
Robert- keens on investigating in healthcare issues, regarding weight loss tactics. Healthy lifestyle and workout routine. His website – thefitnesstracker.com – is a great digital for those who are concerning about best waterproof fitness tracker – a healthcare gadget for making a better life.