For those of you who have read Dry by Augusten Burroughs you, like I, may have had some questions about those hiccup attacks which victimized the character Pighead. Augusten's friend Pighead was infected with HIV/AIDS and is hospitalized several times through the course of the novel. Pighead is constantly complaining about hiccups and eventually has to be rushed to the emergency room because he his hiccuping so much that he can't breath.
Since I'm not a doctor I was confused as to how hiccups could be so serious and I also wondered what the connection was with HIV/AIDS. So I did some research!
It turns out, according to Joel E. Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., "There are all sorts of reasons for hiccups, ranging from the benign (anxiety leading to the swallowing of excessive amounts of air) to the serious (pneumonia or abscesses or tumors which irritate the diaphragm)." It can also be caused by a possible side effect to taking certain kinds of HIV/AIDS medications. For those who have read the book, we know Pighead had a counter full of prescription medications. Moreover, MJ Pollack, M.D. adds, "Intractable hiccups [can be] a serious sign of underlying systemic disease."
Hope this answers any questions you may have had!