How to get rid of hiccups naturally

A hiccup, or singultus as it is termed medically, is an involuntary movement or spasm of the diaphragm. It is followed by a rapid closure of the vocal cords which produces its distinctive sound. There is no specific  reason for it and it subsides on its own after a while. In rare cases they can continue for several hours or even days or weeks, in which case medical help should be sought. They most commonly occur in the case of newborns and infants.

Some of the common causes of hiccups include:

  • As a side effect of abdominal surgery
  • Diseases such as pleurisy and pneumonia
  • Eating hot and spicy foods or liquids
  • Inhaling toxic fumes
  • Strokes or brain tumors

In many cases however, there are no apparent causes. There are no natural cures for hiccups. However, there are many suggested remedies that may help to stop them.

  • Increase the level of carbon dioxide in your blood by breathing slowly and deeply into a paper bag. This causes your diaphragm to contract more deeply in order to get oxygen and may stop the spasms that cause hiccups. Try this remedy while sitting down and stop if you begin to feel dizzy.
  • Gulp down one or more glasses of cold water.
  • Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Repeat this a few times until the hiccups have stopped.
  • Eating something sweet such as a spoon of sugar may cause the hiccups to stop. While there is no proof of it, the theory is that the sugar may irritate the phrenic nerves in the esophagus and cause the diaphragm to relax.
  • A tablespoon of vinegar, if you can stomach it, may stop the hiccups.
  • Chewing a spoonful of peanut butter is another popular remedy for hiccups. The theory behind this one is that the whole process of chewing it and getting it off your tongue and teeth interrupts your breathing and swallowing patterns.
  • A teaspoon of honey stirred in warm water put on the back of the tongue and swallowed may stop the hiccups
  • Place a paper napkin over a glass of water and drink the water through it. The sucking motion you make to drink the water is said to counteract the spasms in your diaphragm.

You should consult your doctor if your hiccups persist for more than a day.



answered by G R

There are many old wives tales that involve being scared or pressing acupuncture points.

In my experience the best way to stop hiccups is to slowly, and I mean slowly, drink a warm glass of water. You should drink very slow and breathe through your nose. Keep your chin down as you drink. It works!

answered by Dr C M N

The best known way to get rid of hiccups is to hold your breath. I found out recently that it helps to plug your ears while holding your breath for at least 20 seconds. It almost always works. Another way is to quickly drink a glass of water.

answered by K L

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
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