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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).
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.
Hiccups can happen for a lot of reasons – some of them can be physical and some emotional.
“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.
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.”
Carbonate fizzy drinks can cause hiccups. While sipping the soda, one may take up more gas and this causes hiccups.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Slowly drinking a glass of warm water, without stopping to breathe, can be helpful in managing hiccups.
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.