Hiccups are a common and mostly harmless phenomenon. There is no person who has not hiccuped. The man starts hiccuping in his mother's womb. The baby's audible "hic" often wakes the frightened mother from sleep. If the hiccups last longer, the man feels uncomfortable, it tires him and he gets scared, sometimes panicked. And in such cases the hiccups stop on their own, either with the help of home remedies or after medical help. If persistent hiccups last for days, weeks and months, it can be life threatening. Such stubborn hiccups are a great rarity and are usually a side effect of severe and incurable diseases.

Hiccups are caused by convulsions. The esophagus or diaphragm is a muscular plate that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal. The muscle plate protrudes towards the thoracic cavity and has a bell shape. By gradually squeezing, the esophagus descends and pulls the lungs behind it, into which air enters and thus an inhalation occurs. Relieving muscle tension creates exhalation as the esophagus regains its bell-shaped appearance. The role of the shield in breathing would correspond roughly to the stopper at the syringe.

The work of the shield is controlled by the phrenic nerve. Neither of these nerves come out of the spinal cord in the neck area and in the middle of the chest come to the esophagus. The left and right nerves simultaneously give signals to the esophagus to contract and stretch along a specific “timetable” controlled by the center in the brain. If a stimulus from the esophagus itself or from an organ located in the thorax or abdomen suddenly, reflexively irritates the center through the nerves, the commands transmitted by the phrenicus become irregular. Ošit, instead of gradually tightening and stretching, begins to "run wild". The constriction of the shield becomes convulsive, often in series, and spasm after spasm occurs. Each spasm of the ossicle forces the man to inhale the air abruptly, and the sudden entry of air into the lungs leads to the abrupt closing of the vocal cords, resulting in the familiar "hic" sound.

Hiccup stimuli can occur in different parts of the body, and most commonly come from the stomach after eating too fast, after an overeating meal, or after eating spicy foods. It is a common cause and bloating of the stomach and intestines caused by swallowing air or indigestion, and it also occurs after consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages. Hot and too cold food can cause irritation from the esophagus. Hiccups can be caused by inflammation of the stomach, stomach ulcers and other inflammatory changes in the abdominal cavity. A case is described of a man who, after appendicitis, hiccuped, with short interruptions, for a full 10 years, only to suddenly stop on his own.

Hiccups can also be caused by excessive smoking, mental tension and fatigue. Loud laughter can be caused by direct irritation of the esophagus and swallowing large amounts of air. Hiccups are also of psychogenic origin, they occur on a "nervous basis". A hysterical attack can be accompanied by persistent hiccups as well as a feeling of suffocation, deprivation of the body, stabbing in the heart. Persistent, stubborn hiccups can be caused by a brain hemorrhage or a brain tumor. Protrusions in the middle of the chest can press on the nerve and cause persistent hiccups. Tumors of the esophagus and stomach hiccup herald its presence. In patients whose kidneys have completely failed, hiccups are always a bad sign, as in patients who have had a heart attack.

If someone gets a sudden hiccup it is very unlikely to be caused by a serious illness. Someone is more likely to win the main lottery win than a sudden hiccup announcing a dangerous illness. So apply one of the proven home remedies to stop the hiccup attack on your own. Many treatments date back to ancient times. Already in records older than 2000, drinking water and tickling are recommended. The sudden blow to the back, which is still gladly applied today, was recommended by the Greek philosopher Plato. Experience has accumulated over the centuries, so several thousand procedures are known today. The most famous is drinking or gargling water. Our quacks recommend red currant jam, a sugar cube with a few drops of vinegar, etc. Hiccups caused on a "nervous basis" usually disappear after the application of such procedures because the main goal is to distract the hiccup. The same effect is achieved by "digging the nose," and one old writer recommends: "Three times to read the Lord's Prayer backwards."

If nerve irritation causes hiccups, then procedures that even doctors recommend can help: induce vomiting by irritating the throat, prolonged air retention in the lungs, putting an ice pack on the neck, breathing into a paper bag to inhale as much carbon dioxide as possible. If the hiccups do not stop even after a few hours, it is best to consult a doctor. Urgent medical attention is needed even if the hiccups are very rapid. It usually takes half to one minute between two seizures. In exceptional cases, hiccups can be very fast, more than 100 times in one minute. Such a condition severely disrupts breathing and requires urgent medical attention. The doctor will give a means of general calming of the body. In severe cases, injections will prevent the transmission of irritants that cause the shield to spasm. If the hiccups persist, there are other methods; the injection can be given directly into the nerve in the neck area and the nerve is temporarily numb for several hours (novocaine blockade). If the hiccups continue, the nerve will be “destroyed” for a while. This is done by injecting a dilute solution of alcohol into it. After that, two months must pass for the nerve to recover again. The nerve can also be crushed, frozen or cut with a knife. If even bilateral cutting does not lead to improvement, which is indeed very rare, then the patient falls asleep; the drugs disconnect the respiratory muscles from the function, and the patient is placed on a respirator.