What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'life-threatening' to 'generally fatal'. 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. Here are three possibilities:
- Cardiac Ischemia
- Heart Disease
- 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:
very high LDL cholesterol level
very low HDL cholesterol level
poorly controlled diabetes
moderate unexplained weight loss
rapid pulse rate
sleeping more than necessary
long-term low-carb dieting
frequent unexplained nausea
pain in chest or left side
current birth control pill use
recent onset vomiting
heart attack(s) in mother
... and more than 30 others
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of hiccups:
|Chronic Renal Insufficiency
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
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:
Hiccups usually last for only a few minutes, but can persist for days – or even months in rare cases. Although usually benign, they can sometimes be an indicator of underlying metabolic or infectious processes, including heart disease.
Concerned or curious about your health? Try The Analyst™