Most of the people had hiccups at one time or another. While hiccups usually go away on their own within a few minutes, they can be annoying and interfere with eating and talking. So, you should know how to get rid of them! Read on to learn about the most popular and effective to stop hiccups fast.
Before we explore the cure for hiccups, let’s find out what a hiccup really is.
A hiccup is a sudden, involuntary contraction (spasm) of the diaphragm muscle. When the muscle spasms, the vocal cords snap shut, producing the hiccup sound.
Common causes of hiccups include:
- eating too quickly,
- eating or drinking too much,
- drinking carbonated beverages
- diseases that irritate the nerves that control the diaphragm,
- laughing too hard,
- abdominal surgery,
- strokes etc.
While usually, hiccups go away after a few minutes, but at times they last longer than usual and can be very annoying.
So now that you have hiccups, what can you do to put an end to them?
Here are 6 tried and trusted tips to get rid of hiccups fast:
1. Drink a glass of water quickly
One of the reasons why water can help get rid of hiccups is that when you gulp down water, the rhythmic contractions of the esophagus override spasms of the diaphragm. Another principle is where concentrated gulping counteracts the spasmodic muscle movements of hiccups when you pull hard to drink. Take a look at some methods:
- Gulping water: Take 9 or 10 quick sips in a row from a glass of water. This will stop the spasms causing the hiccups.
- Glass-lined with a paper towel: Fill a glass with water, place a single layer of paper towel over the top of the glass, and then drink through the towel. You will have to pull hard to drink the water. This “pull” helps counteract the spasmodic muscle movement of the hiccups, making it stop.
- Gulping cold water: Drink a glass of cold water as fast as you can. This will shock your system and cause a distraction, thus stopping the hiccups. Adding a spoonful of honey into the water can also help.
- Gargling: Gargling with cold water for up to a minute is also said to be effective to cure hiccups.
- Ice: Another option to get rid of hiccups is to suck on a small piece of ice for a few seconds.
- Drinking through a straw: Drink an entire glass of water with a straw. Simultaneously, block both your ears.
2. A Spoonful Of Sugar
A spoonful of sugar helps not just the medicine go down but is also a cure for hiccups. The sugar granules are believed to stimulate the vagus nerve and help reset the phrenic nerves, thus making the body forget about the hiccups. Take a spoonful of sugar, put it all in your mouth, suck on it and swallow it slowly.
Another method is to take a teaspoon full of sugar, place it in your mouth for five seconds and then allow it to slowly dissolve without chewing it. When all the sugar is dissolved, take a sip of water, and the hiccups would have stopped.
3. Bite Into A Lemon
The trick about biting into a wedge of lemon or sipping something sour is to shock your senses into forgetting about the hiccups. The feeling you experience when biting something sour is similar to your reaction when someone scares you. Apart from this, there is also the probability that the sourness triggers a set of nerves in the throat that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc.
4. Swallow Sticky Peanut Butter
Now peanut butter is one of the most famous hiccup cures you will ever come across. When chewing and swallowing the sticky peanut butter and getting it off your tongue and teeth, your swallowing and breathing patterns are disturbed from the normal mode. This is believed to stop continuous hiccups very easily.
Take one teaspoon of peanut butter, take it in your mouth and swallow it without chewing. For those with peanut allergies, opt for almond butter.
5. Stick Out Your Tongue
No, not necessarily at somebody. And it would be better if you tried this technique in private. Pulling the tongue out is considered to be a sure-fire method to get rid of hiccups fast. The vagus nerve gets stimulated when the tongue is pulled and the diaphragm spasms ease up.
The best way to do this is to pull your tongue with your fingers.
6. Breathe Into A Paper Bag
The paper bag method works by increasing the carbon dioxide levels in the blood and making the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen.6 This is believed to help stop the hiccups.
All you have to do is breathe slowly and deeply into a small paper bag. Remember to stop immediately if you start feeling light-headed.
7. Scare Tactics
A sudden scare works in two ways—it jump-starts the breath pattern and also gives an overriding stimulus to the sympathetic nervous system. This activates the fight-or-flight stress response, resulting in a distraction and consequent end of the bout of hiccups.
8. A Spoonful Of Cocoa Powder
Like peanut butter and almond butter, a spoonful of powdered cocoa is also one of the easiest ways to get rid of hiccups. Take a teaspoon of cocoa powder and try to swallow it instantly. Since this is not as easy as it sounds and requires some effort, it short-circuits the hiccups and helps stop it.
9. Honey In Warm Water
Honey can tickle the vagus nerve, making the hiccups stop. Stir a teaspoon of honey into some warm water, put this on the back of the tongue, and swallow it. Hiccups will stop fast.
10. The 30-Second Method (Hold your breath)
This method, though lasts for only 30 seconds, is a bit complicated. However, it is said to be highly effective. Here are some step-by-step directions on doing it right.
- Inhale through your mouth until your lungs feel full.
- Swallow. You are not really swallowing anything but it seems that without this act, it doesn’t work. Do not let any air out.
- Inhale some more until your lungs feel full again. You may not be able to inhale a lot, but do get some more air in.
- Swallow again. This too will start to get difficult as you go. Do not let any air out.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 (inhale and swallow) until you cannot swallow again.
Keep in mind that if your hiccups last for over 48 hours, you need to see a medical practitioner ensure that it isn’t a result of a terminal disease and negligence could be extremely costly.
The next time you get a case of hiccups, try to use one of the methods above or a few of them at the same time! We are pretty sure the results will impress you. Do you have your own trusted ways against hiccup? Don’t hesitate to share it with us!