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Diaphragm Contractions - Please Respond If You Have Any Info

My mom who is 80 years of age now suffers with hiccups. They are not just your ordinary hiccups though. They go on for hours and it is mostly a contaction in her stomach area. I am assuming her diaphragm. Sometimes she just shakes. They go and come, and are very uncomfortable. She does not have trouble breathing with them and she is not in any pain when they occur.

A little history: about 3 years ago now she was in an automobile accident. After she was discharged from the hospital she suffered with them in the mornings and they finally went away. This summer she had hip surgery and they returned after she got home from 6 weeks of rehab.

We have gone to the doctor with her countless times. They have put her on lorazepam to be taken as they occur and that's the best the doctors can do.

If you have any imformation about curing her condition please let me know. The entire family would be forever grateful.
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replied February 14th, 2018
Welcome to e health forum.

A hiccup is a kind of forced intake of breath, caused by muscle spasms in your chest and throat. There are over 100 causes for hiccups, but the most common is irritation of the stomach or the oesophagus - the food tube that leads to it.

Common hiccups are gone within an hour. Persistent hiccups can go on for up to 48 hours, but are usually harmless. Acute hiccups go on for more than 48 hours, and are usually caused by drugs, but they can also occur naturally. If hiccups go on for longer than two months, they're classed as intractable hiccups, and they're usually the sign of a serious illness.

Most common causes of hiccups include - coughing, rapid eating, Intense emotions such as fear, anxiety ; spicy foods, carbonated drinks, laughing.

GERD is a most common cause, which other causes like peritonitis, phrenic nerve damage, diaphragmatic hernia, renal diseases , etc need to be ruled out in severe intractable hiccups.

Simple cases of Hiccups usually subside on their own with breath control or sipping a glass of water in most normal people.

One method has been explained here - Slowly breathe in until you feel like you can't inhale any more, trying to get a feel for extending the breath down towards your abdomen. You are trying to stretch your diaphragm to interrupt the hiccups.
Hold your breath for 30 seconds. Exhale slowly until your lungs are empty. Repeat 4 to 5 times or until you feel better.

In case of persistent hiccups, lasting all day, it could be a sign of conditions requiring medical advice. It would be advisable to seek proper advice from your doctor for proper advice.

I hope this helps

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