Why Do We Get Hiccups?

Hiccups are rapid and involuntary contractions of the diaphragm that may (or may not) repeat many times in the course of a minute and may last for an extended period. In medical terms, a hiccup is not just called a hiccup; it is known as a synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. That’s a bit of a long name to remember, so most people go by the common name.

Why Do We Hiccup?

There are many reasons attributed to hiccups. In fact, there are more than 100 physiological reasons why a round of hiccups might begin, but the most common ones are the “expansion of the stomach” and “movement of stomach acid in the oesophagus”. After these, hiccups are also typically stimulated by an irritation of the nerves that connect to the diaphragm.

The mechanism of a hiccup usually involves a sudden contraction of the diaphragm, neck muscles and a few other muscles of the face, chest, and throat. Right after the contraction of the diaphragm, when we begin to inhale oxygen, the glottis shuts off the windpipe, which produces the famous “hic” sound. This rapid closure of the vocal cord happens within one-fourth of a second! Pretty fast!

If you want to fully understand this mysterious (and annoying) habit of our body, then check out the video below for the insider scoop on hiccups!

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About the Author:

Ashish is a Science graduate (Bachelor of Science) from Punjabi University (India). He spends a lot of time watching movies, and an awful lot more time discussing them. He likes Harry Potter and the Avengers, and obsesses over how thoroughly Science dictates every aspect of life… in this universe, at least.

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