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Why do I hiccup? – ‘The Why’

Why do I hiccup?

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why.

Everywhere you look the media is pushing you telling you who to follow, what to watch and when to watch it.   You’re even sometimes told how to do it all.  Truth is, here at American Live Wire we do a bit of that too.  The big difference is we also tell you why.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

“Why do I hiccup?” you ask?

Just to make sure we’re on the same page.  Let’s first review what a hiccup is.  According to Merriam-Webster.com a hiccup is “a sound in your throat that is caused by a sudden, uncontrolled movement of muscles in your chest after you have eaten or drunk too much or too quickly.”   More specifically it’s the sound of an inspiratory burst in your throat caused by an uncontrolled movement in your intercostal muscles located between the ribs and the diaphragm.

why do I hiccup

Why do I hiccup?


“But just why do I hiccup?” you ask?

Merriam-Webster touched upon it in their definition.  Most of the time, you hiccup shortly after eating or drinking too much and/or too quickly. Your stomach, located right under your diaphragm, gets distended and actually irritates your diaphragm.  Your diaphragm contracts similar to when you breathe in and this results in a hiccup.

What if I didn’t just eat or drink?  Then why do I hiccup?” you ask?

Some sources indicate that there are people who hiccup from talking too much or even from inhaling smoke.  The American Cancer Society has reported that patients under treatment have a 30% likelihood of having the hiccups. Medical researchers discovered quite some time ago that we also sometimes hiccup due to another physical occurrence.  Specifically, any disruption to the nerve pathways from your brain to your muscles can cause you to hiccup as well.

This is exactly why you could suddenly hiccup during any emotional situation or when experiencing temperature changes.  This is also the biological truth behind why some people will try to shock or scare you when you have the hiccups.  Sudden shock can also actually stop you from hiccuping because of this.  (Cures, however, are an entirely different edition of “The Why”.)

“Why do I hiccup?”  Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

American Live Wire . . . Listen and be heard.

 (Image courtesy of Howikis)

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.