Frequent Hiccups

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.

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  • check your overall health status
  • let The Analyst™ find what's wrong
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies

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
  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency
  • Heart Disease

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:
moderate unexplained weight loss
high uric acid level
African ethnicity
current birth control pill use
non-specific arm pain
very low HDL cholesterol level
reasonably controlled diabetes
discontinued calcium supplementation
poorly controlled diabetes
apple-shaped body when overweight
microcytic red cells
long-term sleep surplus
... 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:
Cause Probability Status
Chronic Renal Insufficiency 90% Confirm
Cardiac Ischemia 30% Unlikely
Heart Disease 5% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ 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?
Possible responses:
→ Rarely / 'average' / Don't know
→ Never
→ 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:
Cardiac Ischemia

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.

Chronic Renal Insufficiency

Persistent hiccups are a possible sign of kidney failure.

Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

Hiccups can be one of the first signs of heart muscle damage or heart attack.

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