Home General Health Hiccups – what causes it and how to stop it?

Hiccups – what causes it and how to stop it?


Hiccups are an unwanted and uncontrolled contraction of the diaphragm, which can be repeated several times during one minute. The contraction is followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords, resulting in a distinctive sound.

Although the sound often causes laughter in the audience, hiccup is known to be unpleasant and irritating phenomenon, especially when repeated in a while. In most cases hiccups stops after a few minutes.

What can cause hiccups?

The most common reasons for hiccups are:

Overeating or eating too fast;
Strong emotions such as fear, anxiety, joy or euphoria;
Consumption of carbonated beverages;
Eating dry or spicy foods;
Temperature change in the stomach – drinking a cold drink after a hot beverage;
Consuming alcohol in large quantities;
Highly laughing.

How can you help yourself?

Hiccups usually disappears within a few minutes. Only in rare cases it is a sign of a more serious health problem. If hiccups is not stopped within 48 hours, seek professional advice.

There are many different ways that you can stop the normal hiccups. Some might act a bit funny, but it’s worth giving them a chance.

  • Breathe and hold the air in you as long as possible. Take a deep breath and slowly count to 10 before you exhale. Repeat 3-4 times.
  • Drink cold water. Quickly drink 10 small sips of cold water, or do gargle with cold water.
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
  • Breathe into a paper bag. If you do not have a paper bag, cover your nose and mouth with your hands and breathe some time like that.
  • Sticking out your tongue and yanking on it may stop hiccups.
  • Gently plug your ears. Carefully plug your ear canals with your hands or fingers over a period of 20-30 seconds. Many argue that this is exactly the “cure” for boring hiccups.
  • Bite a slice of lemon or go and drink a small sip of vinegar. Sour taste can help you to stop the hiccups.
  • Raise your knees toward your chest and hug them hard.