How to Cure Hiccups


| 3 Comments
I've been hiccuping for the past hour or so, and I feel like I've tried all the tricks in the book to get rid of them. Everyone has their own preferred technique, but right now all I'm concerned with is why this is happening and why it won't just stop.

According to this video from Dr. Oz (bear with me here), hiccups are caused by diaphragm spasms that pull the lungs and cause the hiccups. Oz says that hiccupping is actually a survival technique, triggered by swallowing a lot of air from doing things like eating too much or too fast, or drinking carbonated beverages. To understand what causes these hiccup spasms, look at this diagram of a throat:

Epiglottis-Photos.gif

The epiglottis is a flap that is able to close over the windpipe if it senses that you are about to choke on something.

So what can you do to stop it? You have to soothe that spasming diaphragm by doing something that would briefly alter your intake of carbon dioxide. This is where all of those hiccup tricks come in. Drinking water, being scared, or holding your breath, should help you out.

Brian Udermann, an exercise and sport science professor at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and author of "25 Ways to Cure Hiccups: Uncovering the Truth Behind 101 Common Myths and Misconceptions," told the Huffington Post some of the best ways to cure hiccups.

"Anything you do in regard to your breath, it's possible that you could disrupt that nerve impulse from the brain to the diaphragm so you stop the hiccups," Udermann said.

Drinking some water can also help. "It doesn't matter if you drink upside down or sideways or from a spoon," Udermann said, debunking the myths that say you have to drink water a certain way.  "It's that act that could be disruptive."

Udermann also mentions eating something, getting startled, physical distractions, and even sticking out your tongue can cure hiccups. You can click here to see the full slideshow. 


3 Comments

I found your blog post to be very interesting! I always find myself hiccuping if i laugh too hard. Every time I want to get rid of my hiccups I hold my breathe and that always seems to work, where as drinking water doesn't. I had no idea that sticking out your tongue could cure hiccups, i'm going to try that next time.

I found this article of a girl that hiccuped for 38 days. She even had to stop attending school due to it and couldn't seep. Isn't that weird?
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17399354/ns/today-today_health/t/happy-ending-hiccup-girl/#.UFyfx80xHV8

I highly suggest this be on an episode of Mythbusters! There are so many different old wives tales regarding this subject. This website suggests certain drugs work, although they are sedatives.
http://www.universityobserver.ie/2010/12/05/old-wives-tales-debunked-curing-hiccups/
Even taking the drinking water cure further, the website suggests drinking it through a paper towel! This is an age old problem with many humorous cures

I too get hiccups all the time and it is so annoying. I found your article really interesting though because I always heard of outrageous remedies as opposed to the more simpler ones you have listed. My personal favorite that works nearly every time is taking a spoonful of sugar. Here is an article I found listing a few other options: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/9-quick-cures-for-hiccups/

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