Hiccoughs are very common and almost everyone has experienced them.  Hiccups involve the involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, which is the sheet of internal muscle that extends across the bottom of the rib cage. The diaphragm separates the thoracic cavity (heart, lungs & ribs) from the abdominal cavity and performs an important function in respiration (breathing).

The most common triggers of short-term hiccups are eating too much, drinking carbonated beverages, excessive alcohol consumption, sudden temperature changes and excitement or emotional stress.  To avoid hiccups avoid eating too much.  Eat slowly and chew each bit thoroughly so that you may identify signs of satiety before over eating.  Also avoid carbonated beverages and temperature changes in beverages or foods consumed.  For instance, avoid drinking hot tea and ice water at the same time.