Hiccups are a common problem, and there is no cure for them. However, some natural remedies can help you get rid of hiccups quickly.
The hiccups are a strange ailment, and almost everyone wants to know how to get rid of them. However, unlike other typical responses like sneezing and coughing, the hiccups have no proven physiological benefit.
Nonetheless, we’ve all encountered them at some point in our lives. Of course, everyone has a different method for getting rid of hiccups, but what works?
Hiccups may happen when the nerves from your brain to your lungs and stomach get inflamed, causing a spasm. For example, acid reflux, commonly known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may cause hiccups. Certain medicines may also cause them.
Most of the time, they go gone on their own within a short time. On the other hand, Hiccups may persist for months or even years in some instances.
There are natural treatments that may assist whether you are seeking to get rid of acute hiccups because they are unpleasant or you are suffering from long-term hiccups. Please continue reading to learn how to get rid of hiccups for good and when it’s time to visit a doctor.
What Are Hiccups?
Hiccups are reflexes that force your diaphragm, the primary muscle that lies underneath your lungs and is involved in the breathing process, to contract suddenly. Air rushes into the lungs when it involuntarily contracts, only to be abruptly halted by the vocal chords or glottis closure. This causes the “hic” sound.
A hiccup, also known as singultus in medicine, is a planned muscular workout, according to research published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. Because fetuses and preterm babies often hiccup, we know this. Hiccuping seems pointless beyond childhood. However, it may occur due to irritation along the reflex arc.
The vagus nerve and the phrenic nerve transmit powerful impulses from the brain stem to the respiratory muscles, causing a hiccup. As a result, the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles (which run between the ribs and aid in breathing) contract, generating a robust intake.
When you hiccup, you may have a slight tightness feeling in your neck, chest, or belly. The “hic” sound that happens when your windpipe shuts immediately after your diaphragm contracts are the most apparent indication of a hiccup.
The hiccup rate varies from person to person, but it is generally constant for each hiccup episode, ranging from four to sixty hiccups per minute.
When hiccups continue longer than 48 hours, they are considered to be persistent. Therefore, they may impact food and drink consumption, communication, and focus when this occurs.
According to studies, this may result in fatigue, frustration, sleeplessness, and even potentially deadly outcomes such as aspiration pneumonia.
Hiccups are usually only present for a brief time before disappearing. However, they may strike at any moment, and they often do so for no apparent cause.
The following factors may potentially cause them:
- a bloated stomach caused by overeating or eating too fast
- ingesting air
- consuming carbonated drinks
- unexpected elation
- unexpected emotional arousal
- alcohol consumption
- excessive cigarette smoking
- a change in stomach temperature that occurs suddenly
Acute hiccups are most common among infants in the short term, with up to 2.5 percent of their time spent hiccuping. However, according to studies, the incidence of hiccups decreases after infancy and only occurs infrequently for short periods throughout life.
Several things may cause hiccups that persist for more than 48 hours. The following health problems or causes, according to researchers, may be among them:
- problems with the digestive system
- abnormalities of the central nervous system
- metabolic problems
- diseases caused by the mind
- some pharmaceuticals
The vagus and phrenic nerves are the two nerves implicated in this involuntary contraction. The vagus nerve is the longest in the body and includes both motor and sensory fibers. It leaves the brain and travels to the belly through the neck and thorax.
The phrenic nerve begins in the neck and travels through the chest, lung, and heart to reach the diaphragm. Because the phrenic nerve stimulates the diaphragm, it’s well known that phrenic nerve paralysis may cause chronic hiccups.
Chronic hiccups may be caused by gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux, bloating, and heartburn, irritating the diaphragm.
Lesions may cause long-term hiccups in the central nervous system’s route to the phrenic nerve. Strokes, tumors, meningitis, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury are all examples of brain stem disorders.
Metabolic issues may also cause chronic hiccups. They may indicate deteriorating renal or liver function, for example.
Long-term hiccups are more frequent in youngsters, adult males, and those with comorbid disorders, according to research published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine.
How to Get Rid of Hiccups
1. The Vagus Nerve should be stimulated
The vagus nerve connects the brain to the stomach. Hiccups are thought to be caused by irritation to this nerve, so try these easy activities to “reset” it and get rid of them.
Sipping cold water, biting on a lemon, or eating a teaspoon of raw honey mixed with water may “irritate” the pharynx and activate the vagus.
2. Take a deep breath and relax your diaphragm
Another aim is to relax the diaphragm and prevent hiccups by preventing spasms or contractions. One method is to make the body retain carbon dioxide by holding your breath for 10 seconds or inhaling it into a paper bag.
Breathing into a paper bag raises the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood, causing the diaphragm to contract more profoundly to allow more oxygen to enter. According to reports, this generally works and is an excellent method to get rid of hiccups.
Take a few deep breaths into a tiny paper bag, but stop if you feel dizzy.
3. Bring your knees up to your sternum
Pulling your knees to your chest compresses your chest, which acts as a counter-irritant and may assist in halting hiccup contractions. You may also try compressing your chest by leaning forward.
Try to reset the signals that trigger spasms by taking deep breaths in and out while compressing your chest.
4. Experiment with the Valsalva Maneuver
When you exhale air out of your lungs while covering your mouth and nose, this is known as the Valsalva technique. This is because the pressure in the throat, sinuses, and inner ear increases with this method.
According to studies, some individuals utilize this breathing method to halt arrhythmia by resetting signals inside the body.
To do the Valsalva technique, aggressively exhale for 10–15 seconds while closing your lips and pinching your nose. Hiccups are relieved by the pressure this exerts on your nasal sinuses.
5. Use Peppermint Oil
Because it promotes belching by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, peppermint essential oil may be used to relieve hiccups. In addition, you can help halt the contractions that lead to them by putting one drop on the roof of your mouth.
Before taking peppermint oil, dilute it with coconut or grapeseed oil.
6. Try an Acid Reflux Diet
Hiccups that last for a long time are typical acid reflux symptoms. In addition, heartburn, a bitter taste in your tongue, dry mouth, poor breath, burping, and flatulence are all possible adverse effects.
Almost every GERD and acid reflux research refers to food as a significant factor.
According to research, your body is attempting to warn you of an issue with your digestive system. As a result, you should also practice eating more slowly, digesting your food thoroughly, and eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big meals.
Are you looking for a way to get rid of hiccups by decreasing acid reflux? Perform the following actions:
- As much as possible, eat unprocessed, organic foods that are devoid of GMOs.
- Eat lots of probiotic foods and increase your fiber intake to promote healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Reduce your intake of carbohydrates, mainly processed grains, and sugar, and replace them with high-quality protein. (Grass-fed beef is preferable to regular meat.)
- Refined vegetable oils, such as canola oil, should be avoided.
Carbonated beverages, alcohol, and spicy meals have also been linked to hiccups in specific individuals, so avoid them as much as possible in your diet.
To get rid of hiccups caused by acid reflux, eat the following foods:
- green leafy vegetables
- meat from grass-fed cows
- broth made from bones
- coconut oil
- extra virgin olive oil
- apple cider vinegar
- aloe vera gel
7. Stress Reduction
One of the most frequent reasons for short-term hiccups is stress. Consider how you’re feeling at the time and if stress is contributing to the onset of the hiccups the next time you have them.
If that’s not feasible, then try these primary stress relievers daily. These may include the following:
- Yoga practice or exercise
- meditating or praying for healing
- more time spent in nature
- Using essential oils that reduce tension, such as lavender and Roman chamomile
8. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown in case studies to be beneficial in treating chronic hiccups, even when other treatments have failed. This is because Acupuncture stimulates or irritates the nerves that control these functions.
Although there is no controlled research on Acupuncture and hiccups, some individuals have said that it has helped them stop having long-term hiccups, so it’s worth a go.
9. Medications that have been used in the past
Most of the time, hiccups go away on their own after a short period, and medical treatment from a doctor is not required. However, people who experience them for more than two days may need to seek medical attention for the underlying medical condition that is causing them.
The following are some of the common medicines used to treat long-term hiccups:
- Chlorpromazine (also known as haloperidol) is a drug used to treat hiccups, nausea, vomiting, and behavioral and psychological disorders. This is usually the first medicine given to individuals who have been suffering from hiccups for a long time. Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, and difficulty sleeping are some of the drug’s adverse effects.
- Gabapentin is a drug that is used to treat and prevent seizures. It’s an anticonvulsant medication, which means it may be used to treat long-term hiccups. Tremors, disorientation, and a lack of coordination are all possible side effects.
- Metoclopramide is a drug that stimulates muscular contractions in the upper digestive system. It’s used to treat GERD-related heartburn, which is one of the most frequent causes of hiccups. However, this medication may be hazardous in high dosages or used over an extended period, resulting in severe movement problems. If you’re taking this medication, talk to your doctor about the many medicines that interact with it. Vitamins and herbal products are among them.
- Baclofen is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Headache, weakness, nausea, and difficulty sleeping are some of the drug’s side effects.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes hiccups. In addition, PPIs may cause bloating, stomach discomfort, digestive problems, and headaches.
Hiccups in Newborns
Hiccups are frequent in infants, and they generally don’t affect them as much as they do adults. Burp your infant often during a feeding to avoid hiccups. Hiccups are caused by excess gas, which may be relieved by burping.
It may also be beneficial to feed the baby when she is quiet and allow her to digest upright posture for at least 20 minutes before engaging in vigorous exercise such as bouncing up and down.
Do you want to know how to stop your baby’s hiccups? Changing her posture, burping the baby, or soothing the infant are all options. Giving your infant a pacifier may help her diaphragm relax and her hiccups go away.
If the baby still has hiccups after 10 minutes, try feeding her breast or a bottle. This is sometimes an excellent way to help newborns stop hiccups.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Hiccups may last anywhere from a few minutes to many hours. If they don’t go away after two days, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about what’s causing the hiccups to continue.
Although there is no cure for hiccups, your doctor can identify whether they are caused by an underlying disease and provide treatment options.
Side Effects and Risks
Consult your doctor if your hiccups are strong enough to make it difficult for you to breathe, sleep, or eat, or if they continue for more than two days.
If your doctor decides that traditional medication is required for long-term hiccups, talk to him about the possibility of vitamin or supplement interactions.
The natural remedies for hiccups mentioned above are usually harmless, but stop taking them if you start to feel lightheaded or uncomfortable.
- Many individuals ask how to get rid of hiccups naturally since reflexes produce a rapid spasm of your respiratory muscles.
- You may have a slight tightness feeling in your neck, chest, or belly when you hiccup. The “hic” sound that happens when your windpipe shuts immediately after a contraction is the most common symptom of a hiccup.
- Overeating, consuming carbonated drinks, drinking alcohol, smoking, unexpected excitement, emotional stress, swallowing air, or rapid changes in stomach temperature may all induce acute hiccups.
- GI problems, central nervous system diseases, metabolic abnormalities, psychogenic disorders, and certain medicines may all induce long-term hiccups (lasting more than 48 hours).
- Do you want to know how to get rid of hiccups? Drinking a glass of water, attempting to hold your breath, and reducing tension are all effective methods to stop them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get immediate relief from hiccups?
A: Hiccups are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, which is located in your chest. The best way to get immediate relief from hiccups is to take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can before exhaling.
How do you stop hiccups naturally?
A: There are many ways to stop hiccups, but the most effective way is to drink a glass of water.
How do you get rid of hiccups in 10 seconds?
A: You can try to take a deep breath in and out, but the best way is to drink water.
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