The function of a hiccup

 In NCI News

Ever wonder the reason why we get hiccups? 

A hiccup can simply be defined as a sudden burst of inhalation.

It happens when the body gets tired or irritated in some fashion.  In technical terms, it can be described as: A disturbance to the nerve pathways from the brain to the muscles involved.

Hiccups often happen when the temperature changes, but also  can be stimulated by emotional situations, which is the reason why you can be “shocked” or “scared” out of having the hiccups.

It’s basically the brain’s way of trying to get more oxygen to itself so it can work better for you.


This means that when we’re trying to get rid of the hiccups, we’re just battling against the brains effort to try to be better for us. (Maybe it just doesn’t realize how annoying hiccups could actually be)


Everyone has their own home remedy for hiccups, but here are the most common ones and the reason why the bag is the better choice.

  • Simply holding your breath
  • Breathing into a paper bag (which is the better remedy) works by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs, relaxing the diaphragm and halting the spasms.[IMAGESOURCE:MentalFloss]
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