The hiccup is a reflex that causes your diaphragm to contract and is something that everyone experiences at some point. This episode explores the mystery of hiccups happening to us all.
Hiccups are evolutionary and can’t be controlled. They are a kind of reflex that happens when air is sent into the lungs during inhalation. The brain sends signals to our body to make hiccups (also known as spasms).
The Mechanics Of Hiccups
Your diaphragm helps you breathe. It is a large dome-shaped muscle that sits right below your lungs and above your stomach. Like all other muscles in your body, it moves under the influence of signals sent from the brain. Most of the time we don't have to think about it though. We can use our diaphragm to make bigger breaths during exercise. In this process air gets stuck into the back of your throat and hence creates a hic sound.
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Why Do We Hiccup?
Although we all don't know the exact reason why our brains signal us to hiccups, we know many things that trigger the reflex. Research has shown that hiccups are triggered by trauma, tumours in the head, infections, abdominal distensions and issues with the central nervous system. Irritations like Ulcers, Spicy food, gastritis, and heartburn are also related to hiccups. Hiccups are even caused by the tympanic membrane.
Smoking cigarettes, putting ourselves through a sudden change in temperature or overfilling our stomachs also caused hiccups.
Hiccups that are non-stop can be seriously inconvenient, they affect your ability to eat, sleep or communicate. Regular hiccups can be a sign of serious health problems like ear infections, hernias or kidney failure. In that case consult your doctor.
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