A friend of the family has hiccups constantly. Had to go to emergency
the other night. Kaiser says it is a Reflux condition. I read the
postings about burping but why would he have hiccups and other than
what they said to do, such as raising the bed and some diet regulations,
what esle would you suggest and what types of medicines are there?
Hiccups are usually a benign condition but if intractable or recurrent can cause discomfort and anxiety.
Intractable or constant hiccups are rare. They are usually due to irritation of the diaphragm, a large flat muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. Irritation of the nerve innervating the diaphragm or inflammation of the lung or the lining of the lung are often the causes of the problem. Other causes of intractable hiccups relate to irritation of the abdominal side of the diaphragm. For example, gastric inflammation, stretching of the stomach or irritation of the esophagus are causes of hiccups .
Patients with intractable hiccups require a chest x-ray and upper endoscopy to look for the various causes described above. Sometimes a CT scan is needed if the problem is particularly severe.
Drugs which act against gastric acid such as antacids, Tagamet etc may be helpful if the underlying cause is related to esophageal or gastric inflammation. Drugs effective in the treatment of intractable hiccups include chlorpromazine (Compazine), metoclopramide (Reglan) and nifedipine (Procardia). Tincture of time is also helpful.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. Always ask specific questions to your personal physician.