Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, which produces the characteristic "hic" sound.
Hiccups may result from a large meal, alcoholic beverages or sudden excitement. In some cases, hiccups may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. For most people, a bout of hiccups usually lasts only a few minutes. Rarely, hiccups may persist for months. This can result in malnutrition and exhaustion
Causes-The most common triggers for hiccups that last less than 48 hours include:
·         Drinking carbonated beverages
·         Drinking too much alcohol
·         Eating too much
·         Excitement or emotional stress
·         Sudden temperature changes
·         Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
Hiccups that last more than 48 hours may be caused by a variety of factors, which are generally grouped into the following categories.
Nerve damage or irritation
The most common cause of long-term hiccups is damage to or irritation of the vagus nerves or phrenic nerves, which serve the diaphragm muscle.Factors that may cause damage or irritation to these nerves include:
·         A hair or something else in your ear touching your eardrum
·         A tumor, cyst or goiter in your neck
·         Gastroesophageal reflux
·         Sore throat or laryngitis
Central nervous system disorders
A tumor or infection in your central nervous system or damage to your central nervous system as a result of trauma can disrupt your body's normal control of the hiccup reflex. Examples include:
·         Encephalitis
·         Meningitis
·         Multiple sclerosis
·         Stroke
·         Traumatic brain injury
·         Tumors
Metabolic disorders and drugs
Long-term hiccups can be triggered by:
·         Alcoholism
·         Anesthesia
·         Barbiturates
·         Diabetes
·         Electrolyte imbalance
·         Kidney failure
·         Steroids
·         Tranquilizers
Symptoms-The characteristic sound of a hiccup is the only sign. Sometimes the only symptom is a slight tightening sensation in your chest, abdomen or throat that precedes the sound.
Risk factors--Men are much more likely to develop long-term hiccups than are women. Other factors that may increase your risk of hiccups include:
Mental or emotional issues. Anxiety, stress and excitement have been associated with some cases of short-term and long-term hiccups.
Surgery. Some people develop hiccups after undergoing general anesthesia or after procedures that involve abdominal organs.
Complications--Prolonged hiccups may interfere with:
·         Eating
·         Sleeping
·         Speech
·         Wound healing after surgery
Well selected Homoeopathic remedies are effective for hiccups . Some of the main remedies are given below-

NUX VOMICA 30—Nux vomica is one of the effective remedies for hiccups from overeating, from cold, or hot drinks. Hiccups with indigestion. The patient experiences a weight and pain in stomach. There is nausea and vomiting, nausea more in the morning after eating. Vomiting and diarrhea associated with hiccups.Hiccups in drunkards .

IGNATIA AMARA 30- Ignatia is best for hiccups from silent  grief, shock, and disappointment. Ignatia is excellent for hiccups from smoking. Hiccups with belchings empty or bitter after eating and drinking. Hiccups with empty feeling at the epigastrium. Annoying hiccups from tobacco chewing. Hiccup after eating and drinking.

RATANHIA 30-Ratanhia is another effective remedy for hiccups. There is violent hiccup which comes soon after eating , especially if he had been without food for a long time. Hiccup causes pain in stomach. Long continued hiccup after dinner. Another feature is attacks are preceded by gas in stomach or abdomen which are distended.

CINA 30- Cina should be tried when Ratanhia fails. There is violent cough.

AMMONIUM MURIATICUM 30- Ammonim mur is prescribed where hiccup with stitching pain occurs, which extending to right scapula and upper arm. There is an empty gnawing sensation in stomach after a full meal

COCCULUS INDICUS 30- Cocculus is best for hiccup with spasms of the diaphragm and spasmodic yawning.

HYOSCYAMUS  NIGER 30- Hyoscyamus is prescribed where hiccups occurs after operation of the abdomen. Hiccups from concussion of brain . Hyoscyamus is best for hiccup of nursing children.

RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS 30- Ranunculus bulbosus is best for hiccup after alcoholic drinks. Hiccups of drunkards. There is violent hiccup with convulsions and frequent eructations .

CYCLAMEN 30-Cyclamen is best for hiccup during pregnancy with or without vomiting. Also for hiccup after eating. Salty taste in mouth, hiccup like eructations.

CHAMOMILLA 30- Chamomilla is best for hiccup of infants.

STRAMONIUM  30- Stramonium is excellent for convulsive and very violent hiccup. Very violent hiccup with flow of watery saliva after hot drinks.

CINNAMONUM Q- Cinnamonum is considered a specific remedy for hiccup. It is prescribed where hiccup with diarrhea, want of appetite, and acidity of stomach occurs.

MOSCHUS  30- Moschus is best for spasmodic , nervous hiccup. It is a good remedy for hysterical hiccup.

SULPHURIC ACID 30- Sulphuric acid is best for persistent hiccup.Here the hiccup coming on slightest provocation. Tongue feels swollen . Stricture of esophagus occurs.

VERATRUM ALB 30- Veratrum alb is best for hiccup after hot drinks.

TEUCRIUM  30- Teucrium is effective for jerking hiccup after nursing.

GINSENG Q- Ginseng is best for hiccup due to indigestion. It is considereda specific remedy for hiccup.

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