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August 20, 2007 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Why do I hiccup and burp like a big damn frog?

I've been a huge hiccupper and burper my entire life. We're talking 5-10 minute strings of hiccups that are quite uncomfortable-to-painful and that are incredibly loud. Likewise my burps have always been more of belches. The hiccups happen pretty randomly (not after eating or any specific activity) and I'll sometimes have a day when I have five or six attacks over the course of the day. They've gotten rarer and briefer as I've aged, but that may be due to me being better at stopping them. Both are sufficiently loud, weird, and persistent that they're a long-running joke with my family and friends.

Burps will occasionally bring up a feeling of liquid in the back of my throat, especially if I've overeaten or when I'm exercising on my back (doing stomach crunches or similar). This has gotten slightly more frequently recently, but I remember this happening in childhood as well. Especially violent hiccups can do the same.

If you've heard Lady Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera when the Phantom curses her to ribbit like a frog instead of singing, both my hiccups and burps sound like that. This is more than somewhat embarrassing.

I'm not looking for "cures" for hiccups, but I'd like to know if anyone else has this problem and if there's any biological or structural basis for it. Has anyone been treated for some condition and found that all your hiccupping and burping issues went away? NOTE: You are not a doctor, you are not my doctor, this is not medical advice, my mileage may vary. Stated and understood.

I'm 24, female, BMI around 20.5. No major health issues aside from mild asthma and allergies to antibiotics. This isn't troublesome enough to schedule a doctor appointment for, but it is annoying.
posted by fuzzbean to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Garden-variety belching is usually caused by swallowing air while eating/drinking (aerophagia) or consuming foods which contain dissolved gasses (such as beer or soda). A weaker than average or relaxed lower esophageal sphincter can contribute to excess burping as well as heartburn (does that fluid that rises in the back of your throat burn or feel warmer than the surrounding tissue?)

Assuming you don't gulp your food or subsist entirely on beer, I would actually not ignore this; excessive burping can be a symptom of some significant GI issues (which tend to get worse if left untreated) and besides, if it's bothering you enough to post, it's bothering you enough to schedule an appointment.
posted by jamaro at 5:28 PM on August 20, 2007


You can try pulling in your stomack (not after a meal) and then holding it pulled in for a long time and then releasing it. It's best done when standing up and slightly bending forward. It exercises the stomack and stops burping and acid coming up the throat. Once you get better at it it will look funny from the side, it will look almost like your belly is touching your back from the inside. This can also be done when walking, except that in summer clothes it may look weird and people will give you strange looks. Even something like 5 minutes or 10 minutes a day is effective. There's another related exercise where you rotate the side of the stomack and I've read that once you get good at it & do it very quickly it looks like there's an electric motor rotating in your stomack. I never tried that and I don't remember how it's done exactly, but you can try that and see if it just works by itself. hth..
posted by rainy at 9:44 PM on August 20, 2007


May or may not be relevant to you : I've got a kind of gastric problem called GORD.

Normal symptoms for me are repeated acid, LOTS of burping, and stuck food (because it's caused some scarring). It's also associated with mild asthma like problems and coughing. I also hiccup a lot, especially when drinking hot fluids but this may be coincidence.

For me it meant having a camera stuck down my throat and then being prescribed Zoton.
posted by twine42 at 4:47 AM on August 21, 2007


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