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;
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.