Hiccups occur involuntarily and sudden, this can be so annoying. Almost everyone’s had this experience at a time or the other. When you experience hiccup, it may interfere with talking and eating and can make you feel so uncomfortable. People have lots of tricks to get rid of hiccups, from drinking a cup of water immediately, breathing into a paper bag but it is important to know the most effective ways of treating hiccups.

Causes

The large muscle that helps you breathe in and out is the diaphragm. Hiccups occur when this muscle starts to spasm involuntarily. This spasm comes and goes quickly most times but there are certain triggers that may cause hiccups and they include:

  • Eating or drinking too much
  • Eating too quickly
  • Stress or being emotionally excited
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Quick changes in temperature
  • Spicy foods
  • Disorders that irritates the nerves that controls the respiratory muscle (diaphragm).
  • Certain medications (benzodiazepines)
  • Noxious fumes
  • Stroke or brain tumors that involves the brain stem
  • Renal failure
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Symptom

The only symptom which is noticeable is sudden, forceful movement of the diaphragm that results to the hiccup sound

Home Remedies for Hiccup

  • Breathe into a paper bag. Be careful not to cover the head with the bag
  • Re-position to bring the knees to the chest and hold tight for 2 minutes
  • Gentle compression to the chest, done by leaning forward.
  • Try gargling with iced water
  • Slowly sip very cold water
  • Allow some granulated sugar to melt on the tongue, then swallow
  • Suck on a thin slice of lemon
  • Apply pressure by pulling on the tongue to stimulate the vagus nerve and relieve spasms on the muscle
  • You can also apply gentle pressure on each side of the nose while swallowing.
  • Hiccups can also occur in infants, newborns which is quite common. If this happens during feeding, stop the feeding for the moment until the spasm goes on its own. Changing the position of the infant and get the baby to belch. You can continue the feeds when the baby is relaxed.

Generally, physicians reserve use of medication until that is a final resort in cases of prolonged and severe hiccups.

Prevention

This is basically by avoiding the triggers

  • Eat slowly
  • Reduce intake of alcohol and smoking
  • Extreme emotions
  • Chew gum with closed mouth

About Dr Habeeb Ali Tunde

Dr. Habeeb Ali Tunde provides the most effective treatments to patients by integrating both conventional and alternative medicine that address all aspects of pain and wellness.

Read more

Follow Dr Habeeb Tunde Ali

Facebook – Dr. Habeeb Ali

Twitter – Dr. Habeeb Ali

YouTube: Dr Habeeb Ali

Website: Dr. Habeeb Tunde Ali

Mentioned on Tribune Online News – Dr. Habeeb Tunde Ali