Drinking alcohol, eating a lot of food in a shot amount of time, smoking, swallowing an excess amount of air and stress are some of the typical causes of hiccups.
Normal hiccups will go away either on their own or with home remedies within a few hours at most. If they last longer than 48 hours, they are considered persistent hiccups. Those that go on for longer than a month are known as intractable hiccups.
Normal and persistent hiccups rarely cause any negative side effects. Intractable hiccups can lead to weight loss, sleeplessness and exhaustion.
Persistent and intractable hiccups can be symptoms of more serious issues, including metabolic problems, central nervous system issues, nerve injury and mental health problems. They also can occur following surgery and anesthesia.
Typical hiccups are often treated by home remedies, but non-stop hiccups require medical attention. Treatment depends on underlying causes, but can include medicine, acupuncture and hypnosis.
Charles Osborne of Anthon, Iowa, holds the known record for hiccups. He started hiccuping in 1922 and continued until 1990. It is estimated that he hiccuped 430 million times.