Nearly everyone has experienced the involuntary contraction of the diaphragm – the part of the body that separates the chest from the abdomen. In simple terms, we’ve all tried to stifle a bout of hiccups, when our vocal cords suddenly close and you’re left with a sometimes embarrassing ‘hic.’ Usually lasting only a few minutes, you can immediately ease the effects with home remedies for hiccups.
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Causes and Symptoms
Eat a large meal, speed through dinner, gulp a hefty glass of beer (or soda), battle a stressful day, or suddenly become excited and you could come face-to-face with your own case of short-term hiccups. In rare instances, some people encounter hiccups that last more than 48 hours – a sign that something else is going on with your body. For some, outside factors cause long-term hiccups, such as:
• Nerve damage or irritation: (laryngitis, tumors or cysts in neck, or gastroesophageal reflux)
• Central nervous system disorders (stroke, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, traumatic brain injury)
• Metabolic disorders: (kidney failure and electrolyte imbalance, diabetes)
• Drugs: (barbiturates, steroids, tranquilizers, anesthesia)
Hiccup Home Remedies
Hiccups have a way of creating unwanted attention or interrupting your regular routine. One of the most common times that hiccups arise is when you are eating and drinking. Make sure to eat slowly (taking deliberate bites) and take smaller sips of your drink – all of which will keep your air intake at a minimum. If you find yourself involuntarily gasping, use the following home remedies for hiccups to get you back on schedule:
The sour taste of lemons helps overwhelm and redirect the attention of irritated nerves responsible for causing hiccups.
b) Tongue Action:
Some people have found relief from hiccups by sticking out their tongue and pulling on it.
Tickle the soft palate located on the roof of your mouth with a Q-tip.
Not only does eating small pieces of ginger settle indigestion, but can also treat a case of hiccups.
e) Pineapple Juice:
Sometimes, the acidic content of pineapple juice can solve a case of hiccups. Slowly drink a glass to calm symptoms.
f) Hold Your Breath:
Imagine yourself getting ready to jump into a pool. Hold your nose and close your mouth in the same manner as taking a plunge – holding the position for as long as you can until the urge to hiccup has passed.
g) Paper Bag:
Breathe into a paper bag to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, which helps divert your body’s attention to getting rid of excess CO2 instead of making you hiccup.
h) Black Pepper:
The violent reaction of sneezing causes the respiratory tract to aid in your quest to stop hiccups. Inhale black pepper powder to induce the action.
Seek an antacid in your medicine cabinet that contains magnesium, which helps lessen irritation and calm the nerves. Take one or two tablets.
Use a sweet sensation to your advantage and swallow one tablespoon of honey to deactivate the irritated nerve causing your hiccups.
k) Ice Water:
A glass of ice water can shock your system and put an end to hiccups. Some people have also found success by rubbing a piece of ice on the back of their neck.
l) Plug Your Ears:
Putting your fingers in your ears can stimulate the nerve endings of the region in a way that eases a bout of hiccups.
m) Dill Seed:
Take a page from old folk remedy books and swallow a teaspoon of dill seeds to treat hiccups.