Offbeat — 29 May 2013


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Why do we hiccup

Hiccups are funny and sometimes in formal settings can be quite embarrassing too. The body part which is responsible for that funny sound is known as diaphragm. Situated right below the lungs, all hiccups start in this dome shaped muscle.

In order to understand the cause of hiccups we need to understand the functioning of diaphragm first. When we inhale, the diaphragm pulls out in order to fill up the air into the lungs while when we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and air flows out through nose and lungs.

This process keeps on happening throughout our lives smoothly without causing any problem but sometimes the diaphragm gets irritated and pulls down in a jerky fashion. When this happens, you suck air into your throat suddenly and when this rushing air hits your voice box it creates that sound “Hic – hic hiccup”!!!

The factors that irritate otherwise cool and calm diaphragm includes eating your food too quickly or swallowing it in large quantities, any kind of irritation in the stomach or throat. Sometimes when you get too nervous or excited then also your diaphragm gets irritated and you begin to hiccup.

Generally hiccups do not last long but if they do persist then it indicates some kind of problem and you should check with your doctor. The best way to stop hiccuping includes holding your breath and counting to the count of 10. Some people may ask you to eat something or drink something. The bottom line is to interrupt your breathing pattern in order to get rid of hiccups. In some cultures, hiccups are seen as a sign of someone missing and remembering you!

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Written by Ritu Insaan

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

About Author

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

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