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The hiccup (also known as hiccough) usually occurs when the human diaphragm contracts and allows air to enter the lungs, thus closing the vocal cords, which then produce the familiar "hic" sound. Medicinally, it is known as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; it evolved from the Latin term "singult," which means "the act of catching one's breath." Causes include extreme excitement or laughter; hyperglycemia; spicy foods or carbonated beverages; and medicinal side effects, among others. Hiccups are an involuntary reflex, and in most cases, hiccups will eventually cease, but they sometimes last for several minutes (or in extreme cases, much longer). There are many home remedies. I usually solve my own case of hiccups by holding my breath until they disappear (usually one minute or less). Other remedies include inhaling and exhaling repeatedly into a paper bag; being suddenly frightened from a surprise noise; massaging the back of the throat; and eating (ex: peanut butter) or drinking water or a small amount of vinegar.
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