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What causes hiccups?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Hiccups are caused by spasms of the diaphragm muscle. Learn more about this topic in this video by Dr. Oz.


Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Hiccups are involuntary spasms of your diaphragm (the muscle at the base of your lungs that rises and falls as you breathe) that trigger sudden closure of your vocal cords.

Fortunately, these spasms are usually harmless and temporary. Everything from overeating to carbonated drinks, excess alcohol, and stress can cause hiccups, but chronic hiccups can signal an underlying medical condition, such as an intestinal blockage or gastroesophageal reflux disease (chronic acid reflux), also commonly referred to as GERD. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.