Q: Hello Doctor my dad is having hiccups and it’s really irritating because he can’t eat even if he drinks water it doesn’t stop. We went to different hospitals, no help. What can be the cause and its treatment?
A: Hiccups refer to involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the thin muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. This is followed by sudden closure of the vocal chords with the resulting hiccup sound at the top of the windpipe.
Hiccups are quite common and can affect any age group. They usually occur without provocation and last for a few minutes before disappearing. These episodes may be linked to:
- Bloating…which may be a factor in your case, given your belching.
- Eating or drinking too quickly (in which case a lot of gas/air is taken in. Again, this could be a factor in your case)
- Drinking alcohol
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