Home » Browse Health Topics » Hiccups » Hiccups and hiatal hernias
Hiccups and hiatal hernias
Dear Ask The Doctor:
I have had hiccups for three days. I had a similar encounter in 2006 which lasted 9 days. I have had several instances dating as far back as 1995, where I had bad enough chest pain to go to a cardiologist for a stress-test, all of which came back "fit-as-a-fiddle". I suspect I may have a hiatal hernia, which is causing both the chest pain and the chronic hiccups. What are your thoughts?
Answer:Hiccups are a common and usually transient condition affecting almost all people in their lifetime. Rarely, hiccups become intractable and can lead to adverse outcomes. A hiccup is an involuntary, intermittent, spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. The exact mechanism provoking hiccups remains unknown. Hiccups involve unilateral contraction of the left hemidiaphragm in approximately 80 percent of cases. Hiccup bouts are usually caused by gastric distention from overeating, carbonated beverages, aerophagia (eg, swallowing with chewing gum or smoking), and gastric insufflation during endoscopy. Other causes include sudden changes in ambient or gastrointestinal temperature or excessive alcohol ingestion. Sudden excitement or other emotional stress can also precipitate hiccups. Irritation of the vagus and phrenic nerve are common causes of persistent or intractable hiccups and could be caused by pharyngitis, laryngitis, goiters, tumors, mediastinal masses, and abnormalities of the diaphragm that irritate the phrenic nerve. Laboratory tests to consider in patients with persistent or intractable hiccups include a complete blood count, electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, calcium, liver function tests, and amylase/lipase. Other tests your doctor could oreder are an upper endoscopy, MRI, bronchoscopy, esophageal manometry and pulmonary function tests. The specific illness causing the hiccups, if known, should guide the choice of treatment.
Sign In to join in the conversation.
You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.
Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.
- Board Certified GP
- CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
- Adjunct Professor at U Of T
Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.
- Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
- Director ATD Health Network Inc.
- Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA
Hiccup Help: Is there a way to prevent getting...
I am a 51 year old male, it seems in the last year that i get frequent hiccups when eating. I get them so badly that...
I have a sharp burning paint in bottom of left
I have a sharp burning paint in bottom of left rib cage. I also have had hiccups for past three days. My doc started ...
Hiccuping for 6 years
I hiccup every day. I usually hiccup once or twice after eating or drinking. I rarely ever get a standard case of hic...
Super Painful Hiccups
I have a sore throat and excessive hiccups that are causing me great amounts of pain. On a scale of one to ten I'd ha...
On going hiccups
I have had hiccups since I was IN 7th grade. I do not mean the ones that everyone gets once in a while. These happe...
Recurring Hiccups On A Regular Basis - Treatmen...
I Am getting hiccups on regular basis and there is a lump on my right hand which comes and goes doctor told me t...
Chronic Hiccups : What can i do?
Hi I have been having really bad hiccups since like January of 2011 and it hurts and they didn't start occurring unt...
Hiccups in a pediatric patient.
My five years old son has hiccups since 5 days, what should i do?