The most common triggers for hiccups that last less than 48 hours include:
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too much
- Excitement or emotional stress
- Sudden temperature changes
- Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
Hiccups that last more than 48 hours may be caused by a variety of factors, which are generally grouped into the following categories.
Nerve damage or irritation
The most common cause of long-term hiccups is damage to or irritation of the vagus nerves or phrenic nerves, which serve the diaphragm muscle.Factors that may cause damage or irritation to these nerves include:
- A hair or something else in your ear touching your eardrum
- A tumor, cyst or goiter in your neck
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Sore throat or laryngitis
Central nervous system disorders
A tumor or infection in your central nervous system or damage to your central nervous system as a result of trauma can disrupt your body's normal control of the hiccup reflex. Examples include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Metabolic disorders and drugs
Long-term hiccups can be triggered by:
May 16, 2014
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Kidney failure
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- Walsh D, et al. Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- Lembo AJ. Overview of hiccups. http://uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- George J, et al. Hyponatremia and hiccups. National Medical Journal of India. 1996;9:107.