Chronic Hiccups: Causes, Treatment and Other Important Matters About It

Hiccups usually last for just a few minutes only. At times it may go on for a couple of hours. But did you know that it’s possible for hiccups to last for longer than 48 hours? If you are experiencing hiccups for more that 2 days straight, what you have is already regarded as a medical condition, and doctors refer to it as chronic hiccups.

Read on to know some of the most important matters about chronic hiccups, such as its causes and treatments.

Make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites to get your family and friends introduced to the fact that there is such a thing as hiccups that can last for more than 48 hours.


Hiccups are caused by the spasming of the diaphragm. The vocal cords are involved, too, and they are the ones that make those characteristic hiccup sounds each time they close quickly.

Actually, doctors do not really know the exact cause of hiccups, although they say that they are commonly triggered by stress and excitement. The consumption of certain foods and beverages is also linked to hiccups. But no matter the cause, hiccups tend to go away in just a few minutes, or a few hours in rare instances.

It’s an entirely different story if hiccups last for more than 2 days. Doctors may find it challenging to identify the root cause as there are so many possible ones.

For instance, experts say that pleurisy or pneumonia can be linked to chronic hiccups since they can cause irritation or inflammation to the diaphragm, triggering the said muscle to spasm uncontrollably. All sorts of problems concerning the gastrointestinal tract can be blamed, too, such as stomach ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and various issues with the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Medical problems that involve the nervous system may also be the cause, especially when there’s a tumor or anything else that can cause irritation or put pressure on parts of the brain or nerves that control involuntary actions.

Doctors say that certain drugs may cause chronic hiccups, such as corticosteroids used for dealing with allergies and skin problems. Treatments such as chemotherapy may lead to chronic hiccups, too.


Since chronic hiccups are considered as rare, experts have not devoted plenty of time to researching how they can be treated effectively.

There are certain medications that can be prescribed for chronic hiccups that are commonly used for treating other medical conditions. For instance, the FDA has approved a synthetic drug called chlorpromazine for chronic hiccups, although it primarily serves as a sedative, tranquilizer and antiemetic.

It’s not unlikely for some doctors to try to manage chronic hiccups with the use of muscle relaxants.

If the above mentioned drugs do not seem to work, it’s not unlikely for a doctor to recommend surgery. In this approach, the target is the nerve that causes the diaphragm to spasm uncontrollably.

Coping Strategies

Hiccups do not really have a huge impact on the lives of those who are experiencing them since they tend to go away on their own after just a few minutes or sometimes hours.

But if hiccups are around for days, they can easily disrupt everyday living.

For instance, it can be extremely difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep if you are experiencing hiccups non-stop. You may also no longer enjoy eating and drinking, which can easily lead to malnutrition or unintended weight loss. And if your work entails talking to people, having chronic hiccups can definitely be a huge disadvantage.

Avoiding common trigger foods such as those that are spicy may help to control chronic hiccups. The consumption of fizzy beverages has to be dodged, too. Experts say that someone who is having chronic hiccups should always carry a bottle of water so that he or she may take small amounts of it throughout the day to have the problem put under control.

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