Facts for kids: Why do I hiccup?

what causes hiccups

Charles Osborne had the hiccups from 1922 to 1990. He looks pretty angry about it.

Blame your epiglottis. The epiglottis is a fleshy barrier that separates the food and air tubes in your throat. The annoying sensation and noise of a hiccup is caused when your epiglottis shuts without warning. But you can’t blame the epiglottis without blaming the diaphragm as well.

The diaphragm is a muscle at the bottom of the chest that controls breathing. On occasion the diaphragm spasms, causing air to be sucked into the lungs and the epiglottis to close quickly. Spasms of a diaphragm can be caused by a variety of things, such as eating food too quickly, spicy foods, smoking, fizzy drinks, stress, and too much alcohol.

Short answer: There are over 100 causes of hiccups but we’re keeping it simple. If you’re like me, you get the hiccups because you eat too quickly. If you want to impress people at parties, tell them hiccups are also known as singultus. It is Latin for the act of catching one’s breath while sobbing.

Leave a Comment.