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Getting Rid of Recurring Hiccups

by Gab Billones


In the course of our lifetime, we all have experienced that annoying contractions in our diaphragm that causes us to jerk and make a “hic” sound. Yes, that’s a hiccup and although most cases are just short-lived, some records have shown of it lasting for years – a Guinness title holder was granted to a man in Iowa for having a hiccup that lasted for an unbelievable 68-years.

Hiccup is a sudden, involuntary spasm of the diaphragm muscle that causes unintentional inhalations of air. Since this is an involuntary movement, our vocal cords tend to shut off the airflow causing us to produce the “hic” sound. Medical experts say that hiccups happen when our diaphragm gets irritated. This could usually go for a few minutes and is repeated once every few seconds at a regular interval. In most cases, these could go away unknowingly, although there are also rare instances when it needs medical attention. This is because some scientists argue that it could be caused by an underlying serious medical condition.

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Despite being common among individuals, medical experts have no clear explanation as to what triggers it to happen, though it can be readily associated with common conditions such as eating too fast, swallowing air and drinking too much – which is usually true based on experience. For some cases, it just comes out of the blue and annoyingly discomforts us to whatever we might be doing.

As what we’ve been stressing, hiccups make us feel uncomfortable enough that we tend to get irritated on why it just won’t stop. Imagine going in a business meeting or a class presentation with a hiccup.  As a result, remedies against it have been made that sometimes can surprisingly cure it. Whatever the cause is, experts have no definite clue as to why these remedies work. Some explanations say that these remedies increase the carbon dioxide in the blood. Others say that it stimulates the vagus nerve that runs from stomach to brain. Either of the two cases, the body then becomes concerned with an overriding condition and abandons the spasm to tend to where it is more needed.  In simple explanation, it means that’s it’s all in our mind.

Well, whatever the case is, there’s definitely no harm in choosing to use these common home remedies. With that being said, we have listed a few of these commonly trusted home remedies to treat these bothersome hiccups.

Breathe it out.

There’s indeed a lot of breathing patterns made by our grandparents as to how to stop a hiccup. This mostly involves holding your breath for seconds, taking a deep breath and the like while you plug your ears or close your nose. Dr. Udermann says that this might indeed work since working with your breathing can disrupt the nerve impulse participating in your hiccup.


There are indeed a lot of drinking remedies out there. Some of them come in the form of formulated ingredients which are believed to cure it. Some says that by drinking through a straw or through a napkin or towel without stopping can cure it. Drinking water in a bottle while flipping it upside down is also told to cure as well. Since drinking can temporarily participate in your change of breathing, it could probably override those diaphragm spasms.

Stuffing something in your mouth.

Most of the time, if we’re at home, the most common cure that our mothers would suggest to take is a teaspoon of sugar or a spoonful of peanut butter or ice cream. Others even said that biting into a slice of lemon coated in sugar and bitters can do the trick. Although there’s no specific claim that it can cure other than anecdotal evidences, experts say that sweets and bitter stuff can disrupt your focus on your hiccup. Just be careful with your sugar intake, as this is indeed not a good habit. So as an advice, try other remedies first before resorting into this one.

Tongue tricks.

Some people say that by pulling out your tongue or sticking it out, hiccups can readily go away. In doing so, you stimulate a part of your throat connected to your vocal cords. And this is what may offer you some relief.

Get startled.

This is one of the means for curing hiccups  especially in animated films. With this mental distraction, it can change your breathing cycle with the gasp you made, enabling you to quell your hiccup.

And that’s how you commonly deal with hiccup. As what we have noticed, most remedies are in the form of disrupting our body processes so that our attention towards the hiccup would get distracted. Maybe there’s indeed a certain proof about it, but who knows? Either way, if it’s just a way to trick our mind, then it’s a very great medication that falls under the placebo effect. It wouldn’t hurt trying these home remedies anyway than dealing with hiccups and the annoyance that it can bring about to what we are doing.


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