My grandma’s hiccups

My 75-year-old grandma has been having hiccups for the past three months. She has taken some drugs as prescribed by her doctors with little or no improvement. Kindly let us know what else to do as we are very worried about her condition.

Ibukun (by SMS)


Hiccup is due to the irritation of the diaphragm and can be caused by many factors such as smoking or chewing gum.  Any other practices that might irritate the diaphragm such as eating too much (especially fatty foods) or drinking too much (alcohol or carbonated drinks) can make a person prone to having hiccups. In these instances, the stomach, which sits underneath and adjacent to the diaphragm, is distended or stretched. As they occur in relation to eating and drinking, hiccups are sometimes thought to be a reflex to protect a person from choking. Strokes or brain tumors involving the brain stem, and some chronic medical disorders (such as renal failure) are reported to cause hiccups; trauma to the brain, meningitis, and encephalitis also may cause hiccups.

 Damage to the vagus or phrenic nerve may cause hiccups to last a long time.

Problems with the liver, including swelling, infection, or masses can cause irritation of the diaphragm, which can cause hiccups.

 Some medications that can cause acid reflux may also have hiccups as a side effect. Supportive care is administered as indicated by the causative pathology (eg, oxygen for the patient whose hiccups may be secondary to pneumonia). Therapy is directed first toward at the cause of the hiccups (if identified) and then toward the hiccups themselves (if necessary).