Hiccups can very quickly become annoying. There are as many different cures for hiccups as there are causes. Would you like to learn more about how the hiccups work and how to get rid of them? Have a go at this quiz and see how much you know about the hiccups.
How long must you have hiccups for before they can be labeled as persistent hiccups?
Persistent hiccups is the term given to hiccups that last for at least 48 hours. After a month of the hiccups, they are referred to as intractable hiccups. Hiccups can be serious and even fatal, so make sure you see a doctor if you have persistent hiccups.
Women are more likely to get hiccups in the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle. This is why pregnant women get hiccups a lot less than non-pregnant women. Stress can bring on hiccups in both women and men.
Movement and sensation of the diaphragm are controlled by the phrenic nerves. Irritation to these nerves causes the diaphragm to spasm, making the person take a quick, short breath. The epiglottis, a flap that protects the glottis in the windpipe, closes suddenly and creates the hiccup sound.
Spicy foods are particularly irritating to the phrenic nerves. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, temperature changes such as having a hot drink or going out into the cold and emotional changes such as stress, excitement or shock can also affect hiccups.
Which process in the body do many hiccup treatments aim to alter?
the respiratory cycle
Many hiccup treatments aim to interrupt the respiratory cycle. It is thought that increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood can distract the body from hiccupping and focuses it on increasing oxygen levels.