A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Hiccups:  Hiccups is an unintentional movement (spasm) of the diaphragm which is the muscle at the base of the lungs. The spasm is followed by quick closing of the vocal cords, which produces a distinctive sound. Hiccups often start for no apparent reason and usually disappear after a few minutes.

Hiccups rarely last for days, weeks or months. Hiccups are common and normal in newborns and infants. There is no obvious cause for hiccups but they may be caused by hot and spicy foods, harmful fumes, abdominal surgery and disease that irritate the nerves controlling the diaphragm.

You should see your doctor if you have hiccups that recur frequently or last longer than 48 hours so they can try to identify a possible cause and determine whether any further investigation or treatment is necessary.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

Health Issues

UK-based trade group the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) has written a formal letter of complaint to the BBC about a controversial BBC2 Horizon programme about the food supplements industry.


Consumers are demanding BPA-free products, but the alternatives are no safer. Despite this alarming data, nearly 81% of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine.


Widely promoted as a ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’ alternative way to quit smoking, the adoption of vaping has grown exponentially in recent years.