Hiccups are spasms of the diaphragm muscle. They are repeated and cannot be controlled. This results in an odd, sometimes uneasy gasping sensation and sound with each hiccup.
Hiccups are caused by any number of factors that irritate the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the abdominal and chest cavities. Its main function is to help the lungs draw in air during breathing.
What causes hiccups? Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/hiccup.html. Updated August 2014. Accessed March 23, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 12/13/2013
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