A hiccup is nothing more than a sudden, involuntary spasm of the diaphragm, the large muscle between the abdomen and chest that powers breathing. When the diaphragm contracts normally, it draws air into the lungs, but when it contracts in a hiccup, the glottis snaps shut over the trachea, or windpipe, so instead of a breath of air you get hiccups.
One remedy is to stimulate the nerves at the back of the throat. Swallowing a teaspoonful of granulated sugar is the best way to do it.
‘Harvard Men’s Health Watch, December 2000
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