Q:

Is it possible to have chronic hiccups?

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Quick Answer

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, chronic hiccups are possible. The condition, also referred to as intractable hiccups, is characterized by hiccups that last for a long period of time, or hiccups that continue to recur for an extended period, according to GARD.

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Is it possible to have chronic hiccups?
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Full Answer

Hiccups are an unintentional diaphragm spasm. After the spasm, the vocal cords close rapidly, which produce the hiccup sound, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. GARD also asserts that hiccups can start without an apparent reason and usually go away in a few minutes. However, WebMD states that factors like eating quickly, consuming too much alcohol in one sitting and smoking can cause hiccups. WebMD also states that drinking a hot beverage and then drinking something cold causes the temperature in the stomach to change quickly, which can lead to hiccups.

When hiccups last for a long time, they could be an indicator of another health condition, GARD asserts. WebMD states that when hiccups are persistent, this could be a sign of central nervous system issues such as cancer or a stroke. Hyperventilation and a decrease in kidney function can also result in chronic hiccups, as can mental health problems or anesthesia.

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