Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Hiccups Almost Always Go Away on Their Own

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Hiccups Almost Always Go Away on Their Own

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I regularly get hiccups. Is this cause for concern?

Dear Reader: As annoying as hiccups may be, they rarely signal a serious underlying problem.

Hiccups are caused by an abnormal reflex of the diaphragm and the rib muscles. The diaphragm is a layer of muscle that sits underneath your lungs and at the top of your abdomen. It plays an important role in breathing. When the diaphragm moves downward into the abdomen, it helps pull air into the lungs. When it rises upward, it helps expel air from the lungs.

There are also muscles that hold the ribs together. Take in a deep breath. See how your ribs moved outward? That was caused by the contraction of the rib muscles.

Hiccups involve a sudden contraction or spasm of the diaphragm and the muscles between the ribs. …

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