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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Chronic hiccups


Other Names for this Disease

  • Hiccups, intractable
  • Intractable hiccups
  • Intractable singultus
  • Persistent hiccups
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Overview

Chronic hiccups are unintentional movements (spasms) of the diaphragm followed by rapid closure of the vocal cords that persist for an extended period of time. Hiccups often develop for no apparent reason and typically go away on their own after a couple minutes. However, chronic hiccups last over two days and in rare cases, may continue for over a month. Hiccups that recur over long periods of time are also considered "chronic." Depending on how long the hiccups last, affected people may become exhausted, dehydrated and/or lose weight due to interruptions in sleep and normal eating patterns. Other complications may include irregular heart beat and gastroesophageal reflux.[1] The exact underlying cause is often unknown; some cases may be caused by surgery, certain medications and/or a variety of health problems such as central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) abnormalities, psychological problems, conditions that irritate the diaphragm, and metabolic diseases. Treatment of chronic hiccups varies but may include medications and/or surgery.[2]
Last updated: 12/23/2014

References

  1. Hiccups, Chronic. NORD. April 2008; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/708/viewAbstract.
  2. Garry Wilkes, MBBS, FACEM. Hiccups. Medscape Reference. November 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/775746-overview.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manual provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Chronic hiccups.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chronic hiccups. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Hiccups, intractable
  • Intractable hiccups
  • Intractable singultus
  • Persistent hiccups
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.