Hiccups are repetitive, uncontrollable contractions of the diaphragm. Diaphragm is the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing.
Hiccups are annoying. They are uncomfortable and sometimes even a tad painful. This abnormality is something that none of us enjoy having to deal with. This article is for those who suffer from hiccups and just can’t stand them anymore. As such, the ways in which to stop them generally involve stimulating vagus muscles or constricting your diaphragm muscles. EHC brings you some of the best ways to do it.
Massage the roof of your mouth
This should be done very carefully with a cotton swab. If you have a steady hand and a decent gag reflex you can also try massaging the back of your throat and stimulating your uvula.
Sticky foods are perfect for stimulating the vagus muscle. Plus peanut butter is delicious too.
Eat a spoonful of sugar
Sugar helps the medicine go down as well as make those pesky hiccups disappear.
Fingers to your ears
Surprisingly, branches of the vagus muscle reach all the way into your auditory system. As such, it can be stimulated by sticking your fingers into your ears. Just be careful not to push too far or hard.
Drink or gargle water
Having a big old glass of water can interrupt the nerves and thus end your hiccups.
Hold your breath
Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as possible. This action will help to stretch the diaphragm muscles and prevent it from contracting until you exhale. This often helps to get rid of hiccups although you may need to repeat this procedure a couple of times.
It may sound like a myth, but being frightened can actually overwhelm the nerve and cure your hiccups.
Breathe into a paper bag
The theory behind this is that the increase of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream distracts your body from the hiccups because it will be too focused on getting rid of it.
Use an antacid
Antacids, particularly ones that are high in magnesium, help to contain hiccups because they calm the nerves and decrease irritation.
Cough, burp and sneeze
If you can manage to do any of these things, they can help alleviate your hiccups. The belief is that these actions cause your diaphragm to constrict and thus stop them in their tracks.
Don’t stuff yourself full
Eating too much has been known to cause hiccups. One theory is that it is your body’s way of telling you to slow down so your digestive system has a chance to play catch up.
Eating too fast can also cause those pesky hiccups. This is because air gets trapped between pieces of food and thus irritate your vagus nerve. Chew deliberately and slowly.
Avoid spicy food
There are two reasons why it can cause hiccups. Firstly, because some types of spices can irritate your esophagus and stomach lining. Secondly, spicy food can cause extra stomach acid which can then leak into the esophagus.
Excessive drinking can cause hiccups for the same reasons as above. Furthermore, drinking to excess over a long period of time can permanently damage your food pipe lining.
Irritated nerves can be set right with ice cubes. Put an ice cube in your mouth or touch it at the nape of your neck or on your face for that matter. It is better if this is done without your knowledge by somebody else. The sudden impact of cold which you did not anticipate will give you a start and put your hiccups to rest.
Foods to Stop Hiccups
Add a tablespoon of salt to a cup of yogurt and mix it thoroughly until the salt dissolves completely. Have the yogurt slowly and you will find that your hiccups cease with just a few spoons.
Cardamom powder is also an effective remedy for hiccups. You will need to add a teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom powder to a pan with 1 ½ cups of water and bring the water to a boil over low heat. Allow this liquid to cool and then strain the liquid and drink it while it is still cool. This remedy helps the muscles of the diaphragm to relax and this will stop your hiccups.
Clean and peel a small piece of fresh ginger and chew on it slowly to get rid of your hiccups. This home treatment for hiccups may taste a little unpleasant but it is very effective in stopping hiccups.