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Health Tip: Things That May Cause Hiccups

A muscle spasm of the diaphragm

(HealthDay News) -- A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm, a muscle below the lungs, moves involuntarily. This spasm causes the vocal cords to close rapidly, triggering the hiccup sound. Generally, hiccups go away after a few minutes.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this list of common triggers:

  • Abdominal surgery.
  • Conditions, such as pneumonia or pleurisy, that affect the nerves of the diaphragm.
  • Drinking or eating spicy things.
  • Inhaling noxious fumes.
  • Having a stroke or tumor that affects the "hiccup center" of the brain.
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