Why do I get hiccups when I eat french fries or bread?
August 29, 2006 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Dense starchy foods frequently give me the hiccups, especially large cut french fries and corn bread. My mother and grandmother also have this problem.

It doesn't feel like the food is stuck in there, it feels like my throat closes up a little and then it's hiccups that are hard to stop. Usually I can stop them after a while if I drink water while holding my ears shut.

Any idea why this would happen? I'm just curious.
posted by Melsky to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know why it would happen, but it happens to me, too.
posted by sugarfish at 7:05 PM on August 29, 2006

I just wondered the same thing today! I always get that exact same feeling when I eat at Burger King or when I eat too much, too fast.

Sorry I don't have an answer for you.
posted by bristolcat at 7:09 PM on August 29, 2006

I dunno if its an answer, but you might try googling the term 'dysphagia'

IANAD, do work in a med clinic
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:33 PM on August 29, 2006

I hate to piggyback, please tag this add-on question if it's unwelcome, but:

I get the hiccups really bad whenever I have spicy food. Why?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:25 PM on August 29, 2006

Happens to me too. Usually when I don't chew bread well enough or I eat too fast.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 8:52 PM on August 29, 2006

i asked a similar question a few weeks ago, only my throat feels like it's closing up. Unfortunately, the MeFi's could not find a definite answer.
posted by beammeup4 at 8:54 PM on August 29, 2006

I have the same problem, and (for me) it's because I'm not chewing those foods enough. If I slow down and chew them more, maybe take a bit more to drink while eating, it doesn't happen. I've felt hiccups coming on while eating, and that's always how I stop it.
posted by monochromaticgirl at 9:33 PM on August 29, 2006

me too. someone told me it is a wheat allergy.
posted by k8t at 11:08 PM on August 29, 2006

Soft pretzels do this to me, and, sometimes, carrots. Sorry I have no answer but I have long wondered about this.
posted by adgnyc at 4:54 AM on August 30, 2006

Yep. From not chewing and eating too fast. It's annoying.
posted by dame at 5:59 AM on August 30, 2006

Dense starchy foods tend to get sticky after you chew them, thus food particles may be sticking in your esophagus or parts of your throat are sticking to each other for moments after you chew and swallow.

Try chewing them more, and drink water rather than soda or juice, which can make it worse.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:09 AM on August 30, 2006

I have no idea why, but it's an interesting question. As another data point, I don't get hiccups from starchy foods, but I do get them consistently if I eat too many raw carrots.
posted by Andrhia at 7:41 AM on August 30, 2006

The bread is soaking up your saliva, your throat gets sticky, and when you try to take a breath things are stuck together, so you get a little negative pressure in your trachea and that triggers the hiccup reflex.

What can you do about it?

Eat more slowly and drink liquids with your food.

Eat better food. French fries and white bread(probably wrapped around a hamburger, yes?) don't only cause hiccups, they predispose you to Type II diabetes unless they make up a small part of your diet.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:37 AM on August 30, 2006

Response by poster: That's very odd to assume that, Mr. Gunn. I can't remember the last time I ate a hamburger. I'm very aware of what causes diabetes and I am not in danger of getting it. I don't eat fast food and I work out in a gym three times a week.

The things that cause this for me are cornbread, wedge fries like you make in the oven instead of frying, and dense whole wheat bread. Those are pretty healthy.

Thanks for the responses everyone. It's nice to know other people have this too. It probably just is food particles getting stuck in there. It doesn't happen a lot, in fact last night was the first time it happened in a long time and it made me really curious.
posted by Melsky at 4:52 PM on August 30, 2006

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