Have you ever experienced hiccups? If so, you may wonder if there is any reliable way of making hiccups go away. A search on Google revealed 93 million results on hiccups. Some of the frequently asked questions are: Why do you get hiccups? What is the best medicine for hiccups? How can you stop hiccups?
Hiccups occur when there is a sudden contraction of the muscles that support the lungs and ribs. This results in a rapid, involuntary intake of air. The closure of the vocal cords produces the hiccup sound which is similar to catching one’s breath when crying. What are some of the common causes?
Excessive food, alcohol or air in the stomach
How can you stop hiccups?
Unfortunately, there is currently no sure-fire method of making hiccups go away. In some cases, all you need do is ‘nothing.’ Why? Most hiccups last a few minutes, so you just need to patiently endure the period. There are a number of home remedies and drugs that people claim may make hiccups go away. However, most of them are not really supported by scientific evidence.
According to Harvard Health, some possibly effective methods of stopping hiccups are:
- Pulling on your tongue
- Swallowing granulated sugar
- Gargling with water
- Sipping ice water,
- Drinking from the far side of a glass,
- Biting on a lemon
- Tapping or rubbing the back of the neck
- Gently stroking the back of the throat with a long cotton swab
- Holding your breath
- Breathing into a paper bag
- Pulling your knees up to your chest and leaning forward
- Distracting your mind from the fact that you have the hiccups.
In some cases hiccups may last more than a few minutes, hours or days. According to the Guinness book of world records, the longest attack of hiccups is held by Charles Osborne (1894-1991) of Anthon, Iowa, the US. He started hiccupping in 1922 and continued till 1990-a total of 68 years! He had hiccups every 2 seconds for decades during this period.
If you have persistent hiccups, consult your doctor immediately. A thorough review may be needed and some medications or lifestyle changes may be helpful.