Hic! … Hic! … Hic! Hiccups can be annoying and funny at the same time. Think of it this way, you are in the middle of a well-prepared presentation and can sense the satisfaction of the clients around ready to seal the deal and all of a sudden you start with your ‘hic’ sound. You try drinking a few sips of water to get rid of hiccups but they come back with extra intensity ruining your moment. But there is nothing you can do about it because these are actions that happen due to involuntary contractions of the diaphragm that is followed by a closure of the vocal cords producing the ‘hic’ sound.
Causes of hiccups
You might often wonder why you are getting hiccups but here are some common triggers that you might not know about:
- Drinking too much alcohol/carbonated beverages
- Huge meal
- Emotional stress
- Sudden changes in temperature
- Swallowing air with chewing gum
The hiccups due to these triggers are usually short-lived and if your hiccups last for more than 48 hours, it might be due to one of the following reasons
Central nervous system disorders
Your body’s control of the hiccup reflex can get compromised when there is a tumour, infection or damage to your central nervous system. Some health conditions that can cause hiccups are:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Nerve damage or Irritation
Damage of the of the vagus nerves or phrenic nerves that controls the diaphragm muscles can lead to long term hiccups
- A tumour, cyst or goitre in your neck
- A hair or any other foreign object in your ear touching the eardrum
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- A sore throat
How to get rid of hiccups? 5 natural ways to get rid of it
Cover your mouth
Cup both your hands and cover your mouth and nose. Breathe normally. IN this case, the dose of carbon dioxide will help you get rid of hiccups.
Hold your breath
This is a popular remedy to naturally stop hiccups. Take a really deep breath and hold it for some seconds. When there is enough build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs the diaphragm relaxes and helps you get rid of hiccups.
Stick your tongue out
This cannot be done with people around but you can definitely try doing this in the confines of your home or if there is no one watching. Stick your tongue out as much as you can. This stimulates the opening of the vocal cords and can stop hiccups.
Drink water with a straw
When you are sipping water with a straw, you have to pull harder with your diaphragm. It’s even better if you can block your ears when drinking water. This is believed to be one of the most effective remedies for hiccups.
Have peanut butter
This is a delicious remedy to get rid of hiccups fast. Take a spoonful of peanut butter and chew it. Also getting it off your tongue and teeth and swallowing will interrupt your breathing pattern thus getting rid of hiccups.
Hiccups usually go off on its own but if it accompanies coughing up blood or stomach pain or shortness of breath, visit a doctor.