Thursday, 22 December 2011

Why do we get hiccups? Does drinking water get rid of them?

Hiccups is a reflex action of the body by which the body protects itself. Hiccups are short, sharp and very sudden breaths of air which happen when our breathing muscles jerks, making us gasp. While inhaling air, the diaphragm, located between the chest and the stomach, goes down and presses the stomach due to which the lungs are filled with air. While exhaling air, the diaphragm goes up and the air comes out from the lungs.
The diaphragm functions like a piston. Sometimes, due to the formation of gas or increase of acidity in the stomach, the diaphragm gets irritated and as a result contracts suddenly. The air passing into the lungs experiences obstruction and makes the peculiar sound, which is the hiccup. The best way to stop hiccups is to drink a glass of cold water because cold water stops the irritation produced in the diaphragm and it resumes its normal movement.

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