Hiccups are caused by a sudden and involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. The actual reason for hiccups is not known. Hiccups usually last only a few minutes and there are few tricks to stop it.
Usually, the diaphragm contracts slowly and steadily, filling the lungs with air. If you hiccup, the contraction is sudden and air is sucked into the lungs rapidly. The throat closes up and the flow of air to the lungs abruptly stops. The typical sound of hiccups is caused by the sudden closure of vocal cords. Hiccups may be triggered by an irritation to the oesophagus or stomach:
- eating too fast or too much at a time.
- eating food that is too hot or cold.
- carbonated drinks.
- heavy use of alcohol.
- gastric acid travels upwards to the oesophagus due to gastric reflux.