What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups can have various causes, just like most other symptoms. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose hiccups, we could:
- Research the topic
- Find a doctor with the time
- Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.
Step 1: List all Possible Causes
We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "hiccups" as a symptom. For example, chronic renal insufficiency.
Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist
We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
chronic renal insufficiency
regular unexplained vomiting
frequent unexplained nausea
nails turning white towards the ends
reasonably controlled diabetes
very great unexplained weight loss
poorly controlled diabetes
microcytic red cells
recent onset nausea
... and so on
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of hiccups.
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
In the General Symptoms
section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™
will ask the following question about frequent hiccups:
How often do you have hiccups?
→ Rarely / 'average' / Don't know
→ Regular minor episodes lasting several minutes
→ Regular major episodes lasting an hour or more
→ Current problem that won't stop
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either never having hiccups or hiccups, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as Chronic Renal Insufficiency
. Persistent hiccups are a possible sign of kidney failure.