Why do people hiccup?

You get the hiccups when your diaphragm (the muscle underneath your rib cage) starts involuntarily contracting. There are many different things that can set off the hiccups. The most common ones are getting out of breath by laughing or crying hysterically, gasping, or over-exerting yourself; eating or drinking too quickly; anxiety or stress; or eating particular things like spicy food, beer or other alcohol, or soda. But there are also some medical problems that can cause people to get the hiccups too, such as nervous system disorders, respiratory problems, chemotherapy, or exposure to poisons such as pesticides. Usually hiccups are not serious because they go away on their own after a few minutes, but when people get the hiccups because of a medical problem, sometimes they can keep going for days and even injure the sufferer's diaphragm unless doctors give them drugs to stop it from happening.

Here are some websites we found about what causes hiccuping:
What Causes Hiccups
Wikipedia: Hiccup
Causes Of Hiccups

Back to the Learning Lemurs webquests
Back to all the 5th grade webquests