Do hiccups really bother you? Well, there are several home remedies that you can try to get rid of hiccups immediately. Basically, hiccups occur when a person has a sudden, involuntary spasm or contraction of the diaphragm muscle. When the muscle spasms, it produces a hiccup sound. One does not need to worry as regular hiccups are not harmful and don't cause any serious health problems. However, if you are experiencing recurrent hiccup episodes or hiccups are continuing for more than 24 hours then it might be due to chronic hiccups. In such cases, one should visit a doctor for consultation. Generally, hiccups develop without any reason and go away within a few minutes. However, hiccups can make you feel irritated and embarrassed even in a few minutes. Moreover, hiccup spasms can also make your heart beat irregularly for a couple of seconds. Read further to know about some natural remedies to get rid of hiccups.
How to get rid of hiccups?
Medically called synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF), hiccups can be annoying and we keep finding solutions to get rid of it. However, some methods just don't seem to make a change in the situation. Firstly, you should wait and see if the hiccups stop on their own. If they don't stop after a few minutes, then you can go for natural remedies to get rid of it. To help you out, here are 10 effective home remedies to treat hiccups:
1. Drink water
This is always the first home remedy that comes to our mind while hiccupping. Drinking water may help in clearing your throat and relaxation. You can try drinking a glass of warm water without giving yourself time to breathe. Ok the other hand, sipping cold water slowly can also be helpful in stimulating the vagus nerve. Drinking water can help in stopping the irritation in the diaphragm and bringing it back to normal.
Honey provides the same benefits as that of sugar. You should let it dissolve a little on your tongue and then swallow it. You can add it in half glass of water, dissolve and then drink it. Honey helps in soothing the vagus nerve and breaks the continuity of hiccups, thus helping in getting rid of them. Honey can provide instant relief from hiccupping and will also leave a soothing sweet taste on your tongue.
You can have a few granules of sugar to treat hiccups. However, let the sugar dissolve a little in your tongue, only then swallow it. One teaspoon of sugar is more than enough to stop diaphragm spasms. This is one of the quickest and best ways to get rid of hiccuping. You can even stir some sugar in warm water and drink it at once. Moreover, it will even give your tongue a sweet taste.
Interestingly, vinegar also does wonders in curing regular hiccups. You should not drink vinegar directly as it is a very strong ingredient. Just put a little drop or teaspoon of vinegar on your tongue and it can give positive results. Vinegar has certain sour compounds that help in getting relief from hiccups. This natural remedy will surely reduce the intensity and frequency of your hiccups.
5. Suck on a lemon
A lot of people try this way to get rid of hiccups. Before sucking on a lemon, wash your mouth to protect your teeth from the strong effects on citric acid present in lemons. The sour elements of lemon help in treating hiccups. The high acidic content present in lemons interrupts the oesophagus and distracts the vagus nerve, resulting in the resetting of contractions. Some people even add a tinge of salt on their lemon slice to make it taste better.
6. Peanut butter
Another home remedy to get rid of hiccups is having peanut butter. Your breathing patterns continuously change while hiccuping. Just like having sugar and honey, peanut butter can stop the diaphragm spasms. Peanut butter is chewy and sticky that makes it a good food item to distract your breathing from hiccups. You can even have some chocolate if peanut butter is not available. It will not only give you an amazing taste but will also reduce the intensity of your hiccups.
Also read: Initial Hiccups in Breastfeeding
7. Ice water gargles/sipping
Even ice water gargles can help in getting rid of The diaphragm might contract while we breathe due to irritation in the stomach. This can be reduced by sipping and gargling with ice water. Ice water can soothe and cool your stomach as well as throat. Even gargling or sipping ice cold water can give instant relief from regular hiccups. This can even distract your breathing from hiccuping.
8. Hold your tongue
It can be difficult to do this in social situations, but this is a very useful remedy to treat hiccups. If you are at home, hols your tongue while hiccuping. What happens is, pulling on your tongue stimulates the muscles and nerves in your throat. Sticking out and holding your tongue can help you in breathing more smoothly as it also braces the opening between the vocal cords. So, hold your tongue gently for a few minutes and get rid of hiccups.
9. Hold breath
Breathe in and hold your breath for around 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat this three or four times. Then, repeat it after 20 minutes. Focus on slow and measured breathing. Give your respiratory system time to relax. Count to 5 and then breathe, and repeat this process until the hiccups start reducing. You can even try deflating and inflating into a paper bag to help with slow breathing or holding your breath. When there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in your lungs, your diaphragm relaxes. This can help in getting rid of hiccups effectively.
10. Cup your nose
Cupping nose is also one of the easy home methods to treat hiccups. Cup your hands around your nose and mouth, but continue breathing normally. You will get relief from the extra buildup of carbon dioxide in your lungs. Cupping your nose is a quick method to get rid of hiccups. In fact, you can even try to distract and engage yourself in some other activity to avoid or stop hiccupping.
Causes of hiccups
There are many causes behind hiccupping like spicy food, excitement and even stress. However, there is no sure shot list of factors behind hiccups as they come and go and any time for no specific reason sometimes. Some causes that can be a trigger for hiccups are:
- Eating quickly
- Having too much spicy foods
- Feeling excited
- Temperature changes
- Drinking carbonated beverages like sodas
- Consuming very hot food
- Certain medicines
How to prevent hiccups?
Hiccups is not a disease that it needs particular precautions or prevention tips. However, there are some things that you can rather do in a different way to avoid hiccuping. There are some known stimulants that can be taken care of in such cases. Here are some tips to prevent hiccups:
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Restrict carbonated drinks
- Reduce stress
- Do not eat too much spicy food
- Eat and drink slowly
These were natural treatments for hiccups and some ways to prevent hiccuping. The bottom line is that regular hiccups are harmless unless they don't stop for hours. If your hiccups continue for more than 24 hours then there is a need to seek medical advice. Your doctor can rule out the possible causes to find out the appropriate treatment. Also, don't just try these remedies on an infant and take the doctor's suggestion beforehand.
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