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Put a stop to your hiccups with these simple, effective ways

Published on:9 October 2021, 13:00pm IST
Hic, hic, hic! If you're unable to stop your hiccups, then give these expert suggested ways a chance to get rid of them.
Aayushi Gupta
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hiccups
Hiccups are harmless and go away on their own. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Let’s be clear – as long as the hiccups are not persistent, they are not dangerous. But they can be annoying at one point. Hiccups are really common; almost everyone must have experienced them at least once. They can happen to anyone at any age. But these minor hiccups can sometimes drive you crazy. Have you ever wondered where this noise is coming from? Well, the blame must be on your diaphragm (located below the lungs, the major muscle of respiration).

Two things happen when you hiccup:
  • Your diaphragm pulls down between breaths, making you suck in air.
  • The glottis (space between the vocal cords) closes to stop more air coming in.
hiccups
Hiccups can be annoying but they’re usually short-lived. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
So what are hiccups?

Hiccups are repetitive, uncontrollable contractions of the diaphragm muscle. Your diaphragm is the muscle just below your lungs. It marks the boundary between your chest and abdomen. The diaphragm regulates breathing. When your diaphragm contracts, your lungs take in oxygen. When your diaphragm relaxes, your lungs release carbon dioxide. But if something irritates your diaphragm, this can create a distinct “hic!” sound.

So what causes hiccups?

Hiccups can happen for a lot of reasons – some of them can be physical and some emotional. 

1. Overeating

“If you tend to go overboard each and every time you eat anything, and that too eat very fast, you may get hiccups,” Dr Sanjay Nagarkar, General Physician, Apollo Spectra, Pune, shared with HealthShots. Moreover, not chewing your food properly can lead to various other issues as well. You should eat your food properly. 

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Overeating is nothing short of an addiction, which is why it’s time you put an end to it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Spicy food

Do you love spicy food? If yes, then you need to be alert while eating it. Dr Nagarkar says, “Chili peppers are loaded with a compound called capsaicin that activates neurons in the diaphragm, which contract leading to hiccups.”

3. Carbonated drinks

Carbonate fizzy drinks can cause hiccups. While sipping the soda, one may take up more gas and this causes hiccups.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol is a common trigger for hiccups because alcohol tends to interrupt your physical and emotional health. Dr Nagarkar says, “It is a fact that alcohol irritates the digestive system, along with your esophagus, which can also trigger hiccups and increase acid production, inviting acid reflux. Acid reflux can also cause hiccups.”

hiccups
Another reason to give up on alcohol! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Nagarkar suggests some very simple ways that you can try by yourself to stop your annoying hiccups. According to him, there’s no need for paper bags, crazy stunts, special foods, or having someone scare you to stop your hiccups. Just try these quick fixes for your hiccups to get back to normal

Here are the simple ways to stop hiccups by Dr Nagarkar:
1. Coldwater

Cold water is a magical remedy to get rid of those notorious hiccups. Yes, you can just sip on it to stimulate the vagus nerve, and you will feel better.

2. Take deep breaths and exhale

Right after hiccups, smoothly exhale all the air out of your lungs. Every last bit and then a little more. Then take a deep breath, hold it and then exhale and breathe normally. Now repeat the practice as needed. 

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Breathe easy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Sugar

Eating some sugar will be helpful in tackling hiccups. Put sugar on your tongue for 10 seconds, and then you will see your hiccups vanishing.

4. Warm water

Slowly drinking a glass of warm water, without stopping to breathe, can be helpful in managing hiccups.

5. Belching

Doing it on purpose can help you to deal with your hiccups.

With these simple ways, you can stop your short-term hiccups. For persistent and intractable hiccups, you should see the doctor. 

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.