Nearly everyone has had hiccups at one time or another. Most hiccups go away on their own without you having to try any remedies. Nevertheless, they can be annoying and can put you in embarrassing situations as they can strike you at any time without warning. Especially if they occur while you are eating or having a serious conversation.

What are the most common causes of hiccups?

Hiccups take place when the large chest muscle that helps you breathe in and out contract involuntarily. When this muscle contracts, you breathe in quickly and your vocal cords snap shut, producing a distinctive “hic” sound.

The most common lifestyle factors that may cause hiccups include:
• Alcohol consumption
• Eating too much
• Being nervous or too excited
• Eating spicy foods
• High stress level
• Being exposed to sudden change in temperature

Now that you know what the most common causes of hiccups are, below there is a list of remedies that can help you make your hiccups stop. However, although many people find these helpful, there is no scientific proof that the following remedies work.

1. Press your palm firmly with the thumb of your other hand.
2. Drink ice cold water. Consuming cold water may help stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a nerve that supplies nerve fibres to your throat, voice box, windpipe, lungs and other parts of the respitory system.
3. Hold your breath for a short period of time.
4. Swallow some white sugar. Put a small amount of sugar on your tongue and let it sit there for about 5 or 10 seconds before swallowing.
5. Drink a glass of warm water without taking a break to breathe.
6. Sit down in a comfortable place and hug your knees for two minutes.
7. Hold your breath. Inhale deeply and hold your breath for 10 to 20 seconds then exhale slowly. Repeat this if you find it necessary.
8. Breathe into a paper bag. You must stop when you start feeling lightheaded.
9. Drink a half glass of water but gargle instead of swallowing.
10. Pull on your tongue. Hold the tip of your tongue and gently pull it forward. Repeat this two or three times. This stimulates the muscles and nerves in your throat.
11. Rub the back of your neck. This may stimulate your phrenic nerve. The phrenic nerve originates from the spinal nerves in your neck and it provides motor control of your diaphragm. This makes this nerve important for breathing.
12. Distract yourself with something that demands your full attention. Hiccups tend to go away on their own when you move your focus from them. Just do things that are engaging but you normally enjoy doing.
13. Gently compress your chest. Bend forward to put pressure on your diaphragm.

These remedies are only meant for hiccups that take place in a short period of time. You need to see a doctor if your hiccups are persistent or they last for more than 48 hours. Your hiccups could be a sign of disabling diseases such as multiple sclerosis and stroke. Hiccups are annoying to us all, but I hope these remedies can be of help to you.


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Tell us: Do you have any remedies of hiccups that are not listed here? Was this information helpful to you?