Not just hold your breath: how to get rid of hiccups
Hiccups are a natural process. It usually goes away on its own within a few minutes. However, if it takes too long and interferes with eating or talking, you should take "emergency" measures.
Unfortunately, there are not many scientific studies that evaluate the effectiveness of various remedies for hiccups. Health Line published the top tips to help get rid of hiccups.
Causes of hiccups
Hiccups are caused by involuntary spasms of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large muscle that helps in the breathing process. When you spasm, you suddenly inhale air and the vocal cords close - this is the cause of the characteristic sound.
The following factors can cause hiccups:
- carbonated drinks;
- spicy foods;
- stress or emotional excitement;
- a sudden change in temperature;
- rapid pace of eating;
Sometimes a change in breathing or posture can relax the diaphragm.
Practice measured breathing. Breathe in after counting to five and breathe out deeply.
Hold your breath. Breathe in deeply and hold the air for about 10-20 seconds, then slowly exhale. Repeat this practice several times.
Sit on a soft surface. Pull your knees up to your chest and lean forward - this will help compress your chest and cause pressure on your diaphragm.
Doctors suggest experimenting with the Valsalva maneuver. To perform this maneuver, try to exhale by clamping your nose and not opening your mouth.
Pressing on some points will also help relax the diaphragm or stimulate the vagus or diaphragmatic nerves.
- Grasp the tip of your tongue and gently pull it forward once or twice - this is necessary to stimulate the nerves and muscles in your throat.
- Try to pinch your nose for a while.
- Lie down, turn your head to the left and massage the carotid artery on the right side in circular motions for 5-10 seconds.
Food or water
- Slow sipping of cold water will effectively stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Try sucking on an ice cube for a few minutes. When it has shrunk to an acceptable size, swallow it.
- Put a pinch of sugar on your tongue and let it sit for 5-10 seconds, then swallow.
- You can also suck on a slice of lemon.
When to see a doctor
Hiccups usually disappear within a few minutes. If the hiccups have become regular and prolonged, consult your doctor.
Hiccups may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
- multiple sclerosis.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the main symptoms of multiple sclerosis.