Hiccups are involuntary movements, and the control mechanism of this nerve reflex movement is quite complicated. At present, it is speculated that the vagus nerve and diaphragm nerve may be stimulated and transmitted to the brain, and then transmitted by the central nerve. This is the body’s self-protection mechanism to eliminate irritation. When the diaphragm contracts to squeeze out too much gas or food, the vocal cords must be tightly closed to prevent the gas or food from running into the intake pipe and lungs, and therefore burp.
Most of the hiccup symptoms are usually related to stomach swell, because the stomach is under the diaphragm, so once the stomach swells and compresses the diaphragm, such as eating too much, eating too fast, drinking a gas drink, or talking while eating Swallowing too much gas may cause hiccups. In addition, some studies have pointed out that people who are prone to nervousness, anxiety, and autonomic nervous disorders are also a high-risk group of hiccups; alcohol may also cause nerve stimulation and cause hiccups.
Literature reports indicate that myocardial infarction or inflammation of the pericardium may stimulate the vagus nerve; anesthesia, chemotherapeutics, and steroid drugs used in painless examinations may also cause hiccups. The hiccups caused by narcotic drugs are mostly men and those with gastroesophageal reflux. Why is this the case? The mechanism is still unknown, and it is only speculated to be related to nerve stimulation. Some chemotherapy drugs are toxic and may stimulate nerves, causing patients to hiccups.
Painless anesthesia occasionally induces hiccups in the subject. Some people hiccup during the examination, and they will be fine after waking up. The subject may not feel it themselves; some people continue to hiccup after the anesthesia is withdrawn. Fortunately, as long as there is no lesion, generally This hiccup usually treats itself well, and very few need medication.
Seek medical attention if hiccups exceed 48 hours
Hiccups are the involuntary contraction of muscles, causing discomfort, which may also cause blood pressure to rise, and even lack of nutrition due to inability to eat. In severe cases, they may also be unable to eat, sleep, breathe, and muscle soreness. Usually as long as the hiccup lasts for more than 48 hours, you should seek medical treatment; hiccups greater than 1 to 2 months are called “refractory” or “difficult” hiccups.
If the doctor suspects a gastrointestinal disease, he may arrange gastroscopy to go in to see if it is inflamed or blocked; a central nervous system problem can be computed tomography to see if it is structurally abnormal; if the tumor is suspected, the direction of the diaphragm can be observed through X-ray, or using ultrasound , Computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and other possible diseases; metabolic problems can be found through blood drawing, and after finding the cause, you can treat symptomatically, such as removing tumors, controlling inflammation, and supplementing ions.
A small number of persistent hiccups for which no cause can be found can be treated with drugs. The current preferred drug is a drug that inhibits the hiccup nerve reflex circuit, so that the diaphragm does not contract all the time, and most symptoms can be relieved. The side effects of these drugs are drowsiness, dizziness. If it is caused by indigestion or belching caused by bloating, you can use drugs that promote digestion and gastrointestinal motility to help food enter the small intestine and reduce irritation to the diaphragm. There are only a very few patients in the literature, because traditional medicine treatment is ineffective, and it is treated with general anesthesia, or it is so serious that it must use a percutaneous probe to perform ganglion block, but after the ganglion is blocked, it may affect gastrointestinal motility, so You must carefully evaluate the pros and cons before the implementation.
You can try the small remedy for hiccups, but pay attention to safety
There are many small remedies for hiccups, such as suddenly frightening each other, holding your breath, drinking water, taking a deep breath, breathing with a plastic bag, using chopsticks to form a cross at the mouth of the cup, and then drinking a sip of water in each of the four gaps, etc., even more intense Some people poke their throats with chopsticks. In fact, these remedies are trying to stimulate the vagus nerve to replace the previous stimulation to cure the hiccup symptoms. Like holding your breath after taking a deep breath, the chest cavity is inflated, the diaphragm is lowered, and the vagus nerve is stimulated. Just as the skin is itchy, it can be used to stop the itching. It uses new stimulation to suppress the old stimulation. However, these remedies are unfounded and not applicable to everyone, and it is difficult to study the effect, so under the premise of safety, it is okay to try to stop hiccups.
Hiccups! Beware of disease factors
The symptoms of hiccups usually resolve on their own, but they may continue to hiccup if there are the following 4 major diseases:
Gastrointestinal diseases: The gastrointestinal tract can not go down due to diseases such as lumps, ulcers, inflammation, severe gastroesophageal reflux, obstruction of the small intestine, or gastric outlet, which may cause hiccups due to continuous stimulation of the vagus nerve due to gastric distension.
Problems with the central nervous system: such as stroke, encephalitis, meningitis, etc., may also affect the central nervous system to order and hiccup.
Tumors: If there are tumors near the diaphragm and the area where the vagus nerve will pass (from the gastrointestinal tract to the brain), they may all manifest as hiccups. Tumors near the diaphragm include gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, superficial or large-scale liver cancer, and pleural cancer; tumors that the vagus nerve passes through include: laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, and other head and neck cancers.
Metabolic problems: Ion imbalances, such as low potassium, low sodium, low calcium, high blood sugar, etc., cause muscle contraction, or uremic patients can not be excreted through the kidneys due to uremia, and accumulate in the body to stimulate nerves, diabetic neuropathy, etc. May keep hiccups.
Does eating probiotics help treat hiccups?
No research has shown effect. Because it takes a long time from eating probiotics to being digested and absorbed, it is impossible to help treat hiccups. In addition, probiotics are more likely to belch, bloating, or indigestion after eating, allowing them to increase the number of beneficial bacteria and reduce the number of bad bacteria that produce gas. Most of them can only improve the problem of flatulence or indigestion.
What’s wrong with hiccups?
Hiccups are caused by the involuntary rapid contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. When the diaphragm contracts to squeeze out too much gas or food, the vocal cords must be tightly closed to prevent the gas or food from running into the intake pipe and lungs, and therefore burp .
The diaphragm is stimulated and contracted, and the vocal cords suddenly close at the moment of inhalation, making a “hiccup” sound.
[This article is reproduced from the 72nd issue of the “Good Heart Liver” magazine of the National Health Foundation (published on 2015-10-15, link to the original text))
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