Hiccups. We don’t like those abrupt, involuntary hyuk sounds that form from the throat when we either eat too fast, take in a lot of air, or are very anxious. Hiccups are a bother, but worse, having them at an inappropriate time leads to embarrassment. Science tells us that hiccups are diaphragm muscle contractions that act involuntarily. This is the result of your sensitive vocal cords closing for air inflow as your diaphragm performs repeated contractions due to nerve irritation. So, how to get rid of hiccups? We don’t want those hyuks to be the attention grabber during an important speech, date, seminar, study, or on any day for that matter. More importantly, we also don’t want those meddlesome hiccups to be a sign of a serious ailment hiding behind a repeated sound lasting longer than necessary.
While hiccups are rarely harmful, if it lasts for hours, there could be an underlying concern such as kidney damage, pneumonia or other serious ailments. We don’t want that to be taken care of with just a bite of freshly baked bread, do we? This article teaches you simple facts and ways of how hiccups work and how to get rid of them. Once the remedy is applied, the happier the mood (and vagus nerve).
What Causes My Hiccups?
- Eating food too quickly causes hiccuping. This is due to the larger amount of air that enters the mouth and faster than it is supposed to.
- Eating a lot (especially a lot of fat) or drinking plenty of soda (carbonated elements) and alcohol is another effect of getting the hiccups.
- Other activities involving the mouth having to swallow more air is a cause for hiccups. Chewing gum or smoking for long periods are examples of these.
- Too much stressing and anxious feelings can lead to hiccups as a psychological side effect.
- Smoke or fumes can trigger hiccuping.
- Babies can get the hiccups after they cry too hard. It is more common in their first year of life, especially for babies that have GERD.
- Certain medicines that lead to acid reflux can result in hiccups. This includes the majority of benzodiazepine medication, opioid pain relievers, anesthesia, Ativan, Larodopa, Aldomet, Zofran, Xanax, anesthesia, as well as chemotherapy medication.
- More serious medical concerns behind longer-lasting hiccups are brain trauma, brain tumor, stroke, meningitis, chronic renal failure, liver problems, or phrenic nerve and vagus impairment. It’s best to learn about the problem quickly because knowing how to get rid of hiccups will easily treat the problem without being ill-prepared or panicking.
How to Get Rid of Hiccups
Pressing the Palm of Your Hand
It might sound silly, but try pressing one of your palms using the thumb on your other hand as hard as you can. Additionally, you can try squeezing your left thumb ball between your thumb and right forefinger. Doing so distracts the nervous system in your body, acting as a distracting mechanism.
Holding Your Breath
Taking a deep breath then holding that in, builds up more carbon dioxide inside of you. When that happens, you get a more relaxed diaphragm. This, in turn, becomes a cure to getting rid of those pesky hiccups. Just keep in mind to hold your breath a little longer than a few seconds. Just make it past thirty.
Plugging Your Ears then Drinking Water with a Straw
While taking in eight to ten sips of water in a row and fast helps too, plugging both your ears presses the vagus nerve. Pair that with the rhythmic contractions in the diaphragm from quick sipping, this method becomes one of the more effective homemade solutions on how to get rid of hiccups.
Swallowing the Sweets or Vinegar
A good spoon of sugar should be enough to aggravate your esophagus which allows your phrenic nerves to settle down. Sugar is grainy enough, and it’s not going to choke you from acidity. Vinegar has also been found to be an effective remedy. Just keep it a teaspoon though, we don’t want your throat to react sourly. Try apple cider vinegar: a teaspoon a day is proven to be more healthy for your body.
Chewing that dill
Used for its aroma, we all know dill to be feathery greens as a parsley family member. Delicious to add to dishes, dill as a hiccup remedy also works as an effective cure for hiccups. Chewing dill seeds (preferably a teaspoon) will stimulate your vagus nerve and stops the hiccup attacks.
Sipping hot sauce
Much like the graininess of sugar, the hotness in hot sauces acts as a distraction to your nervous system, and switching its reaction toward the burn, then away from the hiccups. Other more spicy food choices or sauces like Sriracha or curry paste also work.
Biting chocolate goodness
Cocoa beans bring about the happy hormones or dark chocolate for a happier heart, and they also perform as a miracle hiccup remover. Powdered chocolate works better in this case.. Get some Milo, Ovaltine or another cocoa brand of your preference in a spoonful and chomp. It will act as a good cure. That is because chocolate is rich and perhaps irresistible to the nerve you want to hit.
While hiccups are no immediate cause to drive to the hospital, when persistent (lasting over three hours), you may need to see an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist, or in more severe cases, a gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, or neurologist for professional counsel. Severe hiccups can also induce vomiting, blood spitting to sleep disruption. So, it’s highly advised to attend to the concern right away. Your physician will perform a physical evaluation, and further lab testing comes rare and only performed when your hiccups are suspected to accompany a medical condition. Patients with more serious underlying medical problems may need to take anesthesia for the phrenic nerve or go through a surgical implant for the vagus nerve. But let’s only be more cautious and less pessimistic as the more important lesson right now is that you already know the very basic home remedies of how to get rid of hiccups.