Are hiccups dangerous

Hiccups are the sudden contraction of our breathing muscles (diaphragm). The glottis of the larynx closes suddenly, which leads to the hacking noise. Two nerve cords are responsible, which extend directly from the brain to the respiratory muscles. In this way, information from the upper abdomen (stomach, esophagus), airways (windpipe) and even the external auditory canal get back into the brain - and from the brain back to the diaphragm if necessary. Typical hiccup triggers are: food and drinks that are too hot or too cold, spicy food, too much alcohol, emotional stress, sudden changes in temperature. Overstretching the stomach also leads to hiccups, e.g. from hastily eating. Historically, the hiccups could be a holdover from gill breathing. Tadpoles, for example, still have lungs and gills. They can reflexively close the windpipe so that the water stays in the throat. In principle, it works the same with humans. However, it is only useful for babies in the womb because it prevents amniotic fluid from getting into the lungs when they practice breathing. Hiccups are chronic after 48 hours. But hiccup experts say that a doctor's visit is advisable after 3-4 hours. Reason: Hiccups can be a sign of serious illness. E.g. heartburn, peritonitis or gastrointestinal diseases. Most of the time, even chronic hiccups have no serious background. Home remedies can stop the occasional hiccup: drink cold water, breathe deeply, then hold your breath (or swallow dry 3 times), gently insert your index finger into your ear canals and gently wiggle it back and forth (this irritates one of the important hiccup nerves). The doctor can help with medication for chronic hiccups.