Hiccups always seem to come at the worst time, don’t they? There’s actually a reason for that. Emotions and emotional situations are actually known to be precursors to hiccups. That means when you’re nervous or excited, the chances of getting a bout of hiccups is increased.
Hiccups also can happen when gulping air, water or food too quickly. People are also more prone to hiccups when bellies are full, particularly overfull stomachs at all-you-can-eat buffets or back yard barbecue bonanzas.
The problem isn’t getting hiccups, but rather the fact that they are unpredictable. It’s hard to get rid of them! The good news is, hiccups usually never last for more than about 5-15 minutes at the most. So the best cure for most hiccups is just to wait until they go away on their own.
So what if the hiccups are persistent and don’t go away in 5-15 minutes? How do you get rid of persistent hiccups?
Truth is, there’s no sure-fired cure for hiccups. There are, however, some hiccup cures that have been shared through the years that many have reported to work. Surely you’ve heard some of your own hiccup remedy and hiccup cure stories too.
Spoonful of Sugar Cures Hiccups
Some people will tell you to put a spoonful of sugar in your mouth and let it dissolve to cure hiccups. Others will tell you to put the spoonful of sugar under your tongue until it dissolves to cure hiccups. This old home remedy for hiccups mostly has nothing to do with the sugar as much as it has to do with relaxing and keeping the mouth closed and not gulping in more air during a hiccup episode. This lack of are lets the diaphragm relax, thus stopping the hiccups.
The good news is, this method for curing hiccups will work even if you don’t have any sugar handy. Simply close the mouth and push the tongue up to the roof of the mouth, like your trying to melt the sugar in your mouth even if your mouth is empty.
Drinking Water Upside Down Cures Hiccups
This one will make you look more like a contortionist than it is likely to cure hiccups completely, but there is actually a reason this hiccup cure might work. The trick is to get a glass of water or any other type of non-carbonated cool beverage, bend over and hang your head upside down and try to sip the water from the opposite side of the cup. This helps by closing the gap of the glottis, which is what makes the hiccup noise. Also, turning upside down and causes the lining of the diaphragm to move forward, thus putting pressure against it so it can’t spasm as easily. The water starts the swallowing motion and also puts pressure against the lining so it helps prevent hiccup spasms.
Breathings Quickly Into a Paper Bag Cures Hiccups
This is the typical cure for hyperventilating, but there is some evidence that breathing rapidly into a paper bag can help calm hiccups too. This might have something to do with the fact that gulps of air can begin the spasms. There’s likely a medical reason this method works, but many people claim the sugar or water method works better than the bag method.
Holding Your Breath Cures Hiccups
Since taking in quick gulps of air can cause hiccups, it makes sense that holding your breath can help calm the hiccups and keep the diaphragm from spasms. Simply take in a deep breath and count to ten or twenty slowly inside your head. Then let the air out slowly through your mouth until all the air in your lungs feels as though it’s been released completely. This should reset the diaphragm from spasms.
Scaring Someone Cures Hiccups?
Actually, scaring someone is more likely to cause hiccups than it is to cure them. Also, with new evidence that hiccups might be linked to some early onset heart disease or heart problems, scaring someone with hiccups might not be the wisest thing to do!
In the end, hiccups usually go away, on their own, in fewer than 5-15 minutes from onset. If they come back or last longer than 1-2 days, it’s best to contact your doctor or health care professional to see if there is a medical reason for the hiccups.