Do Hiccups Make you Grow Taller? 5 Interesting Facts about hiccups.

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1. Hiccups don’t make you grow taller.

Hundreds of years ago, There was a widespread belief that hiccups make children grow. However, there is no scientific evidence that hiccups make you grow taller nowadays.

Growth is a process of bone elongation with time. The bone grows by depositing more bone substances (mainly calcium and phosphorus) in the long bones.

Hiccups don’t possess any effect on your bone and your bone growth. Until this moment, we don’t know the exact significance of hiccups.

Hiccups are due to involuntary contractions of the diaphragm (a sheet-like muscle separating your abdomen from your chest) and the muscles between the ribs (intercostal muscles).

The contractions of the two muscle groups lead to sudden inspiration, Then an abrupt closure of the epiglottis leading to stoppage of the inspiration and the (hic) sound.

Hiccups are very common and affect almost everyone during their lifetime. Today, you will know the most interesting theories and facts explaining why we hiccup.

2. Hiccups occur during intrauterine life.

Hiccups occur to fetuses inside their womb. And this is considered a natural phenomenon during pregnancy.

We still don’t know for sure why hiccups occur before birth. However, as research suggests, they may play a role in fetal growth and development.

One of the most accepted theories about hiccups is that they are meant to exercise the respiratory muscles to help their growth and development.

Hiccups occur multiple times a day in almost all fetuses after 28 weeks of pregnancy (reference).

Another theory about hiccups is that they may reflect a response to compression of the umbilical cord in the uterus (reference).

3. Hiccups are more common in tall people.

Although there is no evidence suggesting that hiccups make you grow taller, the research found that hiccups are more common in tall persons.

One Japanese study found that hiccups for patients taking anti-cancer medications are more common in MEN and TALL persons.

However, the Japanese study was done on patients who experience pathological hiccups as a side effect of drugs.

4. The causes of hiccups after eating.

Although we still don’t know the exact significance of occasional hiccups after eating, we know some triggers:

  • Stomach distension (overeating food).
  • Drinking carbonated drinks.
  • Drinking ialcohol.
  • Eating too quickly.
  • Sudden temperature change.
  • Swallowing too much air.

5. Hiccups can become chronic.

Simple acute hiccups occur to almost everyone. However, hiccups may become chronic in some people. A disease often causes chronic hiccups.

The most prolonged recorded attack of hiccups lasted for 68 years. Charles Osborne (1892-1991) holds the world’s most extended duration of continuous hiccups. Charles started hiccuping after a hog collapsed on him in 1922 (reference).

The list of causes of chronic hiccups are in the table below:

Body System

Causes of Chronic Hiccups.

1. Digestive system– Gastric distension
– Chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
– GERD and esophagitis.
– Stomach or esophageal cancer.
– Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
– Gallbladder diseases (as gallstone disease).
– Inflammatory bowel disease, Bowel obstruction.
2. Toxic/ Metabolic.– Alcoholoabuse.
– Diabetes Mellitus.
– Renal failure.
– Hypocalcemia, Hyponatremia (↓ sodium).
3. Neurological diseases– Cerebral stroke.
– Severe head trauma.
– Brain tumors.
– Multiple sclerosis.
– Infections (brain abscess, meningitis, encephalitis).
– Malformation of brain blood vessels.
– Inflammations of the vessel wall (as temporal arteritis)
4. Diseases in the chest– Pneumonia, bronchitis.
– enlarged lymph nodes around the esophagus (mediastinal LNs).
– Bronchial asthma.
– Inflammation of the lung envelope (pleurisy) or pus (empyema).
– Tumors and trauma of the mediastinum.
5. Vagus & phrenic nerve irritation– Pharyngitis and laryngitis.
– FB or hair inside the air (irritation of eardrum).
– Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
– Neck cysts or neck tumors.
6. Drugs that cause Hiccups– Chemotherapy (as carboplatin).
– Corticosteroids(as dexamethasone).
– Some anti-hypertensives such as Alphamethyldopa.
– Sedativesosuch as Barbituratesoandodiazipam.
7. Psychogenic– Anorexia Nervosa.
– Post-traumatic stress disorder.
– Extreme excitement, stress.
– Schizophrenia, conversion reactions.
– Malingering.
8. After operations– General Anaesthesia (anesthetic medications affect digestive system motility).
– Insertion of the endotracheal tube (during general anesthesia).
9. Others.– Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
– Inflammation of the membrane surrounding your heart (pericarditis).
– Access under the diaphragm (subphrenic abscess).
– Malaria, TB, Herpes Zoster, and Covid-19 (reference).


No evidence that hiccups make you grow. This belief originates from centuries ago, and the current research doesn’t support it.

The Exact significance of hiccups is still unknown. However, some theories suggest it helps develop and grow the baby’s respiratory system.

MORE: Top 6 Myths about Hiccups You Should Know.