Intractable singultus

What is Intractable Hiccup or Singultus?

Intractable hiccup or singultus is an uncontrollable bout or series of hiccups which have lasted for more than 48 hours. It is a rare condition and can be very disruptive to a person’s life. In some cases, it is related to a disease such as a brain tumor, stroke, meningitis, or a metabolic disorder; however, for most people, the cause is unknown.

Singultus is disruptive because it occurs without warning and may be accompanied by abdominal pain, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness.

What Causes Intractable Hiccup or Singultus?

In most cases, the exact cause of intractable hiccup or singultus is unknown. Possible causes may include irritation of the diaphragm, the involuntary muscles below the lungs that are responsible for the hiccup reflex, or disorders of the central nervous system.

In some cases, the cause may be identified, such as a tumor, stroke, metabolic disorder, or meningitis. Rarely, infection of the throat or esophagus may be the cause.

What Are the Treatment Options for Intractable Hiccup or Singultus?

The goal of treatment for intractable hiccup or singultus is to stop the hiccupping. Unfortunately, there is no one treatment that works in every case. A combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and other therapies may be needed.

  • Lifestyle changes may include avoiding triggers such as fatigue, stress, and caffeine.
  • Medications may be used to stop the hiccups, such as tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or anti-seizure medications, or to treat any underlying disorder.
  • Other therapies that may be tried include breathing exercises, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgical procedures.

How Can Intractable Hiccup or Singultus Be Managed?

Most cases of intractable hiccup or singultus are manageable with the right treatment plan. It is important to keep track of your progress and discuss any changes with your healthcare provider.

If the hiccups are severe and disruptive, it is important to take steps to reduce stress and get adequate rest. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can help to reduce stress. In addition, discuss your situation with your loved ones and ask for their understanding and support.