Hiccups can be annoying and a source of distraction especially if you’re scrambling to do something important. These involuntary diaphragm contractions can last for a couple of minutes to an hour. This is usually caused by stress, overeating, burst of sudden excitement or eating too fast.
There are a number of ways to stop hiccups, some effective while others are simply hearsays. To summarize all of these hiccup solutions, we give you a list of some of the most effective ways to stop your hiccups instantly.
It’s all about relaxing.
- Holding your breath. Breathing techniques help to relax your diaphragm and stop the hiccups. Hold your breath for a 10 seconds in several successions then exhale slowly. Repeat it for about 3 to 4 times. The carbon dioxide buildup in the lungs will relax the diaphragm, making the hiccups go away.
- Use a paper bag. Breathing through a paper bag increases the carbon dioxide in the body. As we learned earlier, this helps in stopping hiccups. Focusing on breathing on the bag also lets your forget about your hiccups.
- Compress it. Compress your chest gently and lean a little bit forward to put enough pressure on the diaphragm. You can also do the alternative of hugging your knees close to your chest for several minutes. While the diaphragm is relaxing, it’s nice to take your mind off the hiccups too.
Drink for relief.
- Water break. Eliminating persistent hiccups is as easy as taking several sips of water. When you drink water, the esophagus contracts and this overrides any diaphragm contractions you are having. Few quick sips or a large gulp of water relaxes the diaphragm and stops hiccups instantly.
- The vagus nerve. Applying pressure to the vegus nerve by sticking your fingers in your ears while drinking through a straw is effective in relaxing the diaphragm. The act of putting your fingers inside the ears applies pressure to the vegus nerve. While drinking water this way, it is also vital that you swallow water slowly and steadily.
- Try to eat slowly. To prevent hiccups from happening, try the preventive measure of eating slowly. If you get hiccups during similar times daily, it may be that this is caused by eating too quickly. Eating should be done slowly and in your own pace or else it may cause indigestion or buildup of gas.
- Drink slowly, too. Drinking carbonated drinks quickly also irritate the diaphragm and cause hiccups. Like eating, it is also good to drink carbonated drinks in a slow pace.
- Avoid overeating. The amount of food we eat also affects the occurrence of hiccups. Eating too much overloads the digestive tract by not allowing enough time to process all the food you have consumed.
- Avoid stimulating foods and drinks. Your love for spicy food can cause too much acid to leak to the esophagus, resulting in successive hiccups. Like in the case of drinking carbonated drinks, gulping alcoholic drinks in one go irritates the esophagus and lets it expand rapidly.