Hiccups are involuntary convulsive contractions of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. They can start at any moment. For example, it can start during a business meeting or on a date. Fortunately, there are many ways to defeat it. In this article, you will learn everything about hiccups and ways to prevent them.
Causes Of Hiccups
Although all people have hiccups at some point in their lives, the reasons for this phenomenon have not yet been fully understood. Several factors can lead to sudden contractions of the diaphragm and trigger short-term hiccups:
- The use of carbonated drinks
- Smoking cigarettes, vape, or hookah
- Swallowing air while laughing
- Eating too hot or spicy food
- Stress and emotional stress
- Sitting for a long time in an uncomfortable position
- Sudden changes in temperature
- Swallowing food quickly
- Excess alcohol
- Lack of sleep
How To Get Rid Of Hiccups
When you start having hiccups, you can try any of the following methods. If one does not work, go to another. These techniques are not only simple but also safe.
1. Hold Your Breath
The easiest way that you can use it anywhere and anytime is to hold your breath. Breathe in more air and try not to breathe as much as possible. Ideally, it is enough to hold for 10-20 seconds. Then exhale slowly. Repeat until the hiccups go away.
2. Breathe Into A Paper Bag
This method works on the same principle as holding your breath. It allows you to increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. And most importantly, it helps to restore the rhythm of breathing.
You will need a regular paper bag in which you put your food to go. Press it firmly against your lips and nose and start taking slow breaths in and out. The bag itself should be inflated and deflated. If you feel dizzy or have other unpleasant sensations, you should stop.
It is essential not to use a plastic bag; instead, use a paper one. You can suffocate due to a lack of air. If you don’t have a suitable bag at hand, just put your palms in a cup form over your mouth and breathe through them.
3. Drink A Glass Of Cold Water
Drink in small sips without stopping or resting. Rhythmic contractions of the esophagus will switch the brain’s attention to itself. The effect will be even better if you drink the water with a straw. Firmly cover your ears with your palms while drinking with a straw.
4. Give Up Bad Habits
If these hiccups have become more regular, then you should probably get rid of all the bad habits that can cause them. Avoid drinking alcohol excessively, over-eating, vaping, eating spicy foods, etc.
If you are not able to do it yourself at home, take guidance from experts. For example, for quitting drinking alcohol, you can take help from some specialist. Moreover, there are hundreds of drug and alcohol treatment centers for this purpose.
5. Take The Pose Of An Embryo
To calm your diaphragm during your hiccups, sit on the floor or any other flat surface. Now bring your knees up to your ribcage. Then slowly bend forward and wrap your hands around your knees. Remain in this position for 2-3 minutes. If it is not possible to sit down, tilt the body forward and down. This will put pressure on the diaphragm and help normalize it.
Put a couple of ice cubes in a glass of cold boiled water and wait until they are completely dissolved. Tilt your head back and gargle for 30 seconds. You need to be careful when carrying out this procedure. This method is not suitable for people with nasopharyngeal disease.
7. Tongue Technique
Pull your tongue forward as much as possible and leave it in this position for as long as you have strength and patience. The hiccups will go away even faster if you grasp the tip of your tongue with your fingers and pull it lightly several times. Just remember to wash your hands before doing this. Besides, you can gently press on the root of the tongue.
8. Make A Fist
Sometimes, to get rid of hiccups, it is enough to clench your fingers tightly into a fist. Or press the thumb of one hand into the palm of the other. The stronger, the better it is. The resulting discomfort will distract your nervous system. You can use this technique while being in transport or at a work meeting.
9. Suck Up The Ice Cube
It is possible to relieve the excitation of the phrenic nerves by overexcitation. To do this, place one or more ice cubes on your tongue and suck them up for a few minutes. And when the cubes get smaller, just swallow them.
10. Chew A Slice Of Lemon
This method works in a similar way. So if you have a sore throat, you can chew a slice of lemon instead of ice. When the hiccups stop, be sure to rinse your mouth with clean water. It will help to neutralize the harmful effects of acids and protect your teeth from decay. If you don’t do it, the acid will soften the enamel, causing damage.
11. Eat A Pinch Of Sugar
It is a popular remedy for hiccups. Place some sugar on the root of your tongue and let it melt slightly before swallowing. If you don’t eat sugar, you can suck a teaspoon of honey or peanut butter in your mouth. This technique increases salivation and activates the esophagus, thereby changing the rhythm of breathing.
12. Distract Yourself
The hiccups may end on their own if you stop thinking about them and start doing something fun. For example, cook a new dish, play a game, do eye exercises, or watch a movie to distract yourself.
Hiccups are harmless on their own, but they can signal health problems. If attacks of hiccups are repeated often and continue for several hours, you should consult a doctor. In a normal routine, the methods mentioned above will be sufficient to get rid of hiccups.