Have the Hiccups? What Causes Hiccups & How to Make Them Stop by MJ Kievman, Meter Health Founder and CEO

Family Health
8 months ago
Have the Hiccups? What Causes Hiccups & How to Make Them Stop

Who hasn't had the hiccups? While we all may have our own special way of dealing with them, many people do not know what they are. So, what exactly are hiccups?

Contrary to popular belief, hiccups are not a respiratory or gastrointestinal issue. They’re actually a neurological phenomenon originating in our brainstem, where respiration patterns are generated. Sometimes, irritation to nerves in our throat, mouth or abdomen (through carbonated beverages, spicy foods, etc.) makes our body feel as if it can’t breathe normally, which shocks us out of our normal breathing pattern and into a hiccups breathing pattern. Our diaphragm spasms involuntarily, and the flap of cartilage in the back of the throat – the glottis – is forced shut. As the diaphragm spasms, air rushes into the lungs but hits the closed glottis, creating the “hic” sound that we associate with hiccups.

Hiccup Remedies and Treatments

To effectively treat hiccups, you need to send a strong enough signal back into the brainstem that will direct abnormal breathing patterns to reset. Unfortunately, there isn’t a home remedy that is consistent or effective. 

What most people don’t realize is that hiccups are actually a serious medical issue for millions of patients. “Clinically significant” hiccups last for more than 48 hours or occur as the result of other underlying medical conditions or treatments – such as cancer and chemotherapy treatments – and these hiccups can be debilitating or even deadly. Every year, 1.5 million patients in the U.S. suffer the impacts, ranging from broken ribs and ruptured sutures to panic attacks and depression

There is currently no standard of care or FDA-approved therapeutic for clinically significant hiccups. As the only company dedicated to researching hiccups, Meter Health is developing a therapeutic designed to address these more serious hiccups. That’s why we’ve created Hiccupops: specially formulated lollipops that are designed to stop hiccups in seconds. Our hope is that the Hiccupops retail expansion with CVS and other retail outlets will help build awareness of the need for an FDA-approved solution.

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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I actually hate having the hiccups. I find it painful and can’t wait til they end!
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Thanks for bringing attention to this issue. Did not know much about the "why" of hiccups and appreciate your insights. Welcome to 30Seconds!

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