Everyone has experienced a nasty case of hiccups at some point, which leads to the pertinent question: how to get rid of hiccups? They are annoying and can hamper your daily routine if they are not catered to sooner.
Is it normal to have hiccups?
From babies to older adults, everyone has them. It is entirely normal and does not lead to believing something is wrong with you. Hiccups are a natural process, and our body is trying to tell us to avoid specific lifestyle components, which may be the trigger.
However, this does not grant a pass to all hiccups being good. While the cause of hiccups is a little strange, what is worrying is when they extend to more than 2 hours.
What causes hiccups?
Hiccups are sudden, involuntary spasms of your diaphragm muscle. As soon as the muscle spasms, this causes the vocal cords to shut, resulting in an annoying hiccupping sound.
Some reasons which have been attributed to are:
- Eating a lot at once.
- Not taking breaks in between and overeating.
- Brain tumors.
- Renal diseases
- Surgery of your abdomen.
- The inhaling of toxic fumes.
- Taking certain medications which can result in hiccups.
- Consuming spicy food.
- Drinking a lot of alcohol.
- Being distressed.
- Highly excited.
- Drinking a bunch of fizzy drinks.
In the above cases, hiccups are likely to arise, and they are practically expected. However, you should be concerned if they last for more than 2 hours and do not subside.
How can you cure hiccups?
A few ways to cure hiccups naturally are:
Taking care of your breathing
Try taking a long inhale and holding it in for 10 seconds. Then, exhale slowly. Repeat this for at least 20 minutes to see results. In addition to the above, you can also try breathing into a paper bag, but make sure not to cover your head while you do that.
Using hiccup pipes or hiccup devices
Try to use hiccaway https://amzn.to/2ZY1Ryv or similar devices. They are original natural remedies that cure hiccups instantly. Hiccaway is made of free polypropylene, safe to use for people of all ages, drug-free, and effective.
Paying attention to posture
Firstly, do not slouch! Secondly, if your hiccups continue, try compressing your chest gently by leaning forward. Moreover, you can also try hugging your knees by bringing them closer to your chest for 2 minutes.
Eating and drinking experiments to eliminate hiccups
If the things above do not work, you can seek help from iced water to do the job for you. Dry gargling with some ice water and see if it does the trick. Another option is to sip cold or warm water very slowly. Take your time while swallowing and ensure to take it in without breathing.
Another pro tip is to take some granulated sugar, melt it a little, and place that on your tongue. Then slowly swallow it. And of course, we have burping for all those fond of fizzy drinks. Get a fizzy drink of your choice and try burping as much as you can until the hiccups are no more. But it would be best if you keep under consideration that, at times, fizzy drinks can be the trigger behind these pesky hiccups as well.
In addition to the above, try eating a spoonful of honey or sucking on an ice cube. That will make a difference. Peanut butter is also a delicious option, and it has proven to be an effective method in driving those hiccups away.
Targeting the pressure points
Getting rid of hiccups does not always involve using any scientifically proven method to get the job done. There are ways in which these hiccups can be taken care of. One of these is to target pressure points.
With regards to pressure points, the major one is your nose. You can try squeezing it while swallowing water to get rid of hiccups. Another thing that you can do is squeeze your palm and see if that works for you. If this does not get you the desired results, another pressure point is your tongue. Pull it gently, and you will notice how it will end up stimulating the nerves of your throat. Try repeating these steps for a few minutes until your hiccups are no more!
Some other pressure points to target are inclusive of your diaphragm. This may appear to be a cumbersome process, but in fact, it is not. You need to be gentle while you proceed with it. Apply equal pressure with your hand just below the sternum. If this is a little tedious for you, massaging the carotid artery is ideal. You can feel the carotid artery when you check the pulse by placing a finger on the neck.
Therefore, please take 10 minutes out of your time, and try massaging the artery in a circular motion until the hiccups finally end their battle with you!
Odd method: distraction and diversion
Opting for distraction
At times, it is better to focus on something else to distract from any emotional or mental obsession that could prolong or maintain hiccups (especially when you are distressed). A diversion could trigger a psychological move decreasing hiccup occurrence. Try reading a book, cooking, or playing a video game. This might eventually put on an end to the hiccups once your focus is diverted.
How can you prevent hiccups?
How to prevent hiccups from occurring in the first place?
One must realize that eating and drinking habits and lifestyle factors majorly trigger hiccups. It is crucial that you try making some changes to your eating behavior and lifestyle, and start by:
- Avoid or reduce your consumption of fizzy drinks.
- Do not include a lot of spices in your food.
- Eat slowly: the general rule is to spend at least 20 minutes on your meal.
- Go for physical exercises, including meditation or deep breathing techniques.
- Eat smaller portions. Now, this does not mean you starve. All it takes is that you eat less food per serving to avoid getting hiccups. If you look at models, they eat in small portions at least 7 to 8 times a day, and you can pretty much do the same as well!
When should I see a doctor for my hiccups?
Persistent hiccups can disturb daily activities, such as eating, sleeping, and much more. In most cases, the norm is that the hiccups will go away on their own. Otherwise, your hiccups may be signaling a serious underlying illness such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Peptic esophagitis
- Renal failure
- Metabolic disorders
- Multiple sclerosis.
Lastly, nerve irritation or damage is a possibility; it is therefore recommended to visit your doctor promptly!
The Bottom Line: Do Not Neglect Chronic Hiccups!
In most cases, hiccups are harmless, and there is absolutely nothing you need to fret over. No matter the causes of hiccups, if they last longer than 48 hours, then it is an indication that you must seek medical help right away.