- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Get rid of hiccups
When it comes to curing hiccups it seems the suggested methods vary from mind over matter concentration exercises, like stupidly staring at an object for minutes, to silly ways to drink water or hold your breath and I wouldn't be surprised if they add voodoo magic next. While most of these are great as funny anecdotes go, the truth is there are no cures that are scientifically proven to work every time, but here are the most common ones that usually work:
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Hiccups can be caused by spasms of the diaphragm, so you can always try to stop breathing. The first thing you need to do though is exhale. Afterwards you could either hold your breath or do something that inhibits your breathing naturally like for instance drink a glass of water. There's no real need to do this standing upside down or in some other silly fashion but you can feel free to try! It's believed that cooler water works better than warm water in curing hiccups.
Try breathing into a paper bag, this traps the carbon dioxide you exhale allowing you to inhale the same air again. Breathing the same exhaled air over and over increases the carbon dioxide in your blood and is a know way to get rid of hiccups.
The most extreme method is by sticking your finger down your throat, this will cause you to gag and probably throw up, which will cure the hiccups but may be more uncomfortable then the hiccups themselves
You can also try sticking your tongue out and holding it with your hand for a couple of minutes, this will relax the vagus nerve which can sometimes be the cause of it all.
The sweet cure involves eating a teaspoon of dry sugar and drinking water afterwards. If you don't have dry sugar you can always try peanut butter, honey, or a large marshmallow. Anything that is sweet and will either melt in your mouth or is already cream-like, even ice cream!
Another way to possibly cure them is medication such as Reglan, Thorazine or Lioresal but remember to check with a doctor first!
Have someone scare you, yes this really works. However it needs to be for real, unexpected and shocking enough to restart your breathing pattern.
If the hiccups start to hurt it could mean the onset of a dangerous medical condition, you should consult your doctor immediately!
Tips to avoid hiccups before they start:
- Don't drink too much alcohol
- Don't eat too much food too fast or swallow them before they cool or defrost