Posts Tagged ‘Hiccups’
Hiccups are recognized as a sign of esophageal cancer in U.S. Hiccups are caused mainly due to the involuntary spasm of the diaphragm. These hiccups can occur when a person eats the food too much or too quickly. Hiccups are also caused due to coughing and laughing among others. If the person has hiccups often along with pain and difficulty in swallowing, then these are the two main symptoms of esophageal cancer and should consult a doctor.
A hiccup is the involuntary, spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm and inspiratory muscles followed by sudden closure of glottis. The medical term for hiccup (singultus) came from the Latin word ‘singult’ which means catching one’s breathing while sobbing. Hiccups generally do not serve any useful function. A protective function served by the hiccup is that it prevents large food boluses from entering the gastro-intestinal tract.
Hiccups lasting for about 48 hours are considered to be acute. Rarely hiccups may be prolonged and these prolonged hiccups are termed persistent if they last longer than 48 hours and are termed intractable if they persist for more than a month.
For the patients with cancer in advanced stage, persistent hiccups will have a severe impact on their quality of life. The stopping of persistent hiccups is however a challenge for the healthcare people and also a benefit for the patients.
The hiccups may be due to overeating, eating too quickly, eating very hot or cold food, drinking alcohol and other carbonated beverages, due to excitement or stress. Though they are identified, exact cause is still unclear. Some of the other causes may be as follows
Psychogenic: May be due to hysteria, personality disorder or grief reaction.
Intra-abdominal: May be due to gastric distension, bowel obstruction, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, hepatomegaly, ascites or gastro-intestinal bleeding.
Metabolic: Due to renal failure, hypocapnia, hypocalcaemia, hyponatraemia.
Iatrogenic: Surgical procedures such as abdominal or thoracic operations, neck extension during intubation and due to drugs such as midazolam, diazepam, megestrol acetate, methyl prednisolone, dexamethasone, morphine.
Central Nervous System: Head injury, encephalitis, intracranial tumor and cerebral vascular disease.
Intra-thoracic: Esophageal disorders such as reflex, obstruction, cancer, lung cancer, respiratory infection, myocardial infarction, hiatus hernia, mediastinal tumor and thoracic aneurysm.
The persistent hiccups may affect eating, talking, drinking and sleeping and may be much more serious for some people and due to this the patients may become fatigue, anxious or depressed. The consequences of persistent hiccups includes disturbed sleep, interrupted speech, pain, reduced oral intake, anxiety, fatigue, depression, reflux esophagitis and wound dehiscence.
A 56 year old man with metastatic small cell lung cancer, a persistent hiccup was refractory to classic treatments. The causative factors were liver metastases and hyponatraemia, neoplastic mediastinal involvement. Methylphenidate (MTP), a mild central nervous system (CNS) stimulant which was used for the treatment of hyperactivity disorder was started at a daily dose of 10mg. it was efficient and well tolerated. Also the report suggested that use of MTP in the treatment of intractable hiccup cancer is advantageous.
There are certain natural remedies that offer a promising cure for esophageal cancer. Along with the natural remedies and a well-researched different diet pattern, a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle can make a huge difference to your efforts for prolonging the life for several years. You can increase your chances of surviving esophagus cancer now by trying these proven natural remedies discussed here