What causes hiccups and how to stop them

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Eating too fast, too much (especially fatty and spicy foods) and swallowing air along with the food can cause a hiccup. Drinking too much alcohol, carbonated drinks, a sudden change in temperature, fear or even excitement can make you hiccup.

Hiccup, also spelled as hiccough is the sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a thin sheet of muscle under your lungs that separates your chest from your abdomen. It is the major muscle for a normal respiratory function. Hiccups happen when the diaphragm is irritated.

The medical term of hiccup is known as singultus which means "gasp" or "sob". It happens for a short period of time and rarely needs medical treatment. Usually, it can be stopped by drinking water quickly, holding up a breath, and biting a lemon. For severe and persistent hiccups, doctors can prescribe medications.

Hiccups can happen to anyone, even to a fetus in the womb. As for infants and babies, when it occurs during feeding, stop feeding and try to change their position or try to make them burp. Usually, the hiccups will go away in a short time.

According to the Guinness book of world records, Charles Osborne is recognized as the man who had the longest hiccup, he hiccuped for 68 years.