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Discover 10 hidden health issues that hiccups may indicate, including deadly cancer.


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Hiccups, or hiccups, are an annoying and embarrassing condition for most of us, and since they go away on their own after a short time, we tend to consider them harmless.

Minor, irritating cramps often have no apparent cause and can be triggered by stress, food intake, soft drinks, or excessive alcohol consumption.

However, in some rare cases, hiccups can be a sign of something serious.

The UK Cancer Study said harmless hiccups could be a sign of cancer.

And a study published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine confirmed that up to 40% of cancer patients experience hiccups.

Another study showed that one in ten cancer patients may have hiccups for more than 48 hours.

The Atlantic reported that those with cancer of the breast, throat, or head, or any part of the body associated with hiccups, may experience the condition.

But medications given to cancer patients, including chemotherapy drugs, steroids, and opioids, can also cause them to hiccup.

One study published in 2022 found that hiccups affect the quality of life of about one in 20 cancer patients surveyed.

In another study of 320 cancer patients, hiccups sent 1 in 10 to the hospital for help.

About 40 percent of healthcare professionals surveyed said their cancer patients’ hiccups were worse than their nausea and vomiting.

What is a hiccup?

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm begins to contract and the muscles of the chest and abdomen begin to vibrate. The classic sound of hiccups is simply the exhalation of air from the lungs.

The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle located under your lungs that contracts rhythmically to help you breathe.

Two things happen that make your body hiccup: your diaphragm contracts and drops between your normal breaths, sucking in air.
Right after that, the top of the windpipe closes briefly to prevent more air from entering, and that’s when you make the hiccup sound.
You cannot control this unwanted condition, but in most cases, hiccups go away on their own. But in some cases, a person may continue to feel unpleasant goosebumps in the chest for minutes or hours, and this is a “strong” hiccup.

It becomes “ongoing” if it usually lasts more than 48 hours.

Hiccups are described as “incurable” if they continue for more than a month.

The UK Cancer Study stated that persistent hiccups can cause complications such as tiredness, fatigue or lack of sleep. It can also cause psychological distress or embarrassment.

If hiccups are interfering with your daily life, such as eating and sleeping, it’s important to see a doctor.

What other conditions can cause hiccups?

Certain medications can be the culprit: certain stimulants, sedatives, opioid-based pain relievers (such as morphine), and methyldopa, which are prescribed for blood pressure.

Changes in blood chemistry, such as alcohol, high blood sugar, or lack of calcium or potassium in the blood.

Gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux, indigestion, cholecystitis, or subdiaphragmatic inflammation.

Other bowel conditions that can cause hiccups include hiatal hernia and esophageal cancer.

Abdominal masses such as an enlarged liver or enlarged spleen

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Diseases that affect the neck, chest, or abdomen, ranging from surgery to infections such as pneumonia. Swelling or swelling in these parts of the body can also be a factor.

Certain heart conditions can also cause hiccups, such as a heart attack or inflammation around the heart.

Brain diseases such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, or brain infection.

Source: Sun

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