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Hiccups for a Month? It Can Happen

By Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Short-lasting hiccups are annoying enough, but some people get hiccups that last longer a month or more.

The longest recorded case? An Iowa farmer had hiccups continually for 69 years and nine months, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

In most cases, persistent hiccups (two days or more) and intractable hiccups (a month or more) are associated with underlying medical conditions, two neurologists write in a new journal article.

These chronic hiccups interfere with eating, socializing and sleeping, and can have a serious impact on a patient's quality of life, two neurologists write in a new journal article.

Each year in the United States, about 4,000 people are hospitalized for hiccups. Men account for 91 percent of those with intractable hiccups, and most are over age 50, said Dr. Stasia Rouse and Dr. Matthew Wodziak, of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.

Common triggers of hiccups include drinking carbonated drinks, eating a large meal, anxiety and stress, alcohol, spices, smoking or other digestive or respiratory tract irritants, they say.

Intractable hiccups often have underlying causes. For example, one patient's hiccups were traced to arthritis in the joint connecting the collar bone to the breast bone. Another patient's hiccups were linked to blood clots in the lungs. Certain drugs also can trigger hiccups, Rouse and Wodziak wrote.

Because there are no formal guidelines on treating intractable hiccups, many doctors rely on their own experience or anecdotal evidence.

Some doctors treat hiccups with various medications. Other remedies may include hypnosis, acupuncture and swallowing granulated sugar.

Their report was published recently in the journal Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.

More information

The U.S. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center has more on chronic hiccups.

SOURCE: Loyola Medicine, news release, July 24, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=736210

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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