Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Home Care warning signs Underlying Cause

Singultus Overview

Another name for Singultus is Hiccups.

What are hiccups?
A person with hiccups has spasms of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a strong layer of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The diaphragm tightens and relaxes during breathing. Hiccups may be caused by irritation of the nerves that control movement of the diaphragm.

What are the symptoms of hiccups?
Symptoms of hiccups depend on the underlying cause. Symptoms that may be present with hiccups include abdominal swelling, belching, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

How does the doctor treat hiccups?
Treatment for hiccups depends on the underlying cause. Most cases of hiccups resolve without treatment in less than an hour. In some cases of prolonged hiccups, medication may help resolve the hiccups.

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Last Updated: Sep 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Singultus References
  1. Friedman NL. Hiccups: a treatment review. Pharmacotherapy. 1996 Nov-Dec;16(6):986-95. [8947969]
  2. Rosenberger J, Veseliny E, Bena L, Roland R. A renal transplant patient with intractable hiccups and review of the literature. Transpl Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;7(2):86-8. [16150097]
  3. Smith HS, Busracamwongs A. Management of hiccups in the palliative care population. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2003 Mar-Apr;20(2):149-54. [12693648]
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