The Best Tricks to Get Rid of Hiccups Fast

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The Best Tricks to Get Rid of Hiccups Fast
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Fortunately, hiccups are not a life-threatening condition and they will usually stop by themselves after a period of time. However, depending on where you are and what company you are in, you may want to get rid of hiccups fast, especially if you are trying to make an important speech or you have an important meeting.

The reasons why we experience hiccups vary from person to person. Just as there are many triggers for hiccups, so there are also many methods for ‘curing hiccups’ but not all of them will work for everyone.

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This article will explore the many tried and tested methods that can help you to stop hiccups naturally.

What are Hiccups?

The medical term for hiccups is singultus and they are sometimes called hiccoughs. They occur when a trigger causes your diaphragm to unexpectedly contract and at the same time your larynx contracts. These two actions together cause the ‘hic’ sound and it is usually impossible to feel when they come, and they just seem to come ‘out of the blue.’

More often than not, hiccups will settle down by themselves and you can soon carry on your normal activities without that annoying ‘hic.’

However, hiccups can sometimes last longer than a few minutes and that is when they become a real nuisance. For example, imagine the frustration if you had a job that required you to speak publicly every day and you couldn’t get rid of hiccups!

Hiccups can also affect your sleep and everyday activities and as a result a lot of people are looking for ways to stop hiccups.

Hiccups can be divided into 3 types:

  • Bout of hiccups. These can last for a few minutes up to 48 hours.
  • Persistent hiccups. These last for more than 48 hours but no more than a few days.
  • Intractable hiccups. These last for longer period of time and can be a sign of more serious underlying health issues.

Causes of Hiccups

There are many different reasons why we experience hiccups from time to time. Doctors agree that hiccups are gastrointestinal and involve the vagal and phrenic nerves. The vagal nerve is connected with our cough reflex and the phrenic nerve passes information to the diaphragm.

Hiccups can be caused by a number of factors, like:

  • Eating food too fast
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Soda drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Strong emotions like fear or excitement
  • Sudden temperature changes
  • Medications
  • Certain diseases

How to Prevent Hiccups

The best way to prevent hiccups is to avoid the things that cause hiccups and which could over-stimulate the intestinal system.

So, avoid eating too fast because then you gulp down air, which can result in hiccups. Also, avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can also bring on hiccups.

If sodas drinks cause you to hiccup, then avoid them (you actually want to avoid them anyway as it is a well established fact that drinking sugary carbonated drinks is not good for you).

Spicy food may be actually beneficial for your health and may even help you lose weight but you may want to limit its consumption if it is causing you hiccups.

But, if you already have a bout of hiccups, then how can you stop your hiccups and make them go away?

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How to Get Rid of Hiccups

The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology says that to cure hiccups, measures should be taken to disrupt a person’s breathing rhythm or stimulate the back of the throat and nasal passages.1

Many of the methods mentioned below for stopping hiccups are based on one or both of those two principles – to disrupt breathing pattern (for example, holding your breath) or to stimulate the throat muscles (for example, drinking liquids with your head at different angles).

Here are some of the best methods to get rid of hiccups:

Drink a Glass of Water Through a Straw

This seems to be one of the most popular methods to get rid of hiccups. To do this, you will need a glass filled with water and a straw. Then plug your ears tightly. You should make sure that there air is not getting into your ears. Gulp down the water.

It seems that this works to affect your throat muscles and disrupt the hiccup reflex. The British Medical Journal published one doctor’s comments where he described this as being a ‘miracle cure’ for hiccough. He didn’t use the straw method but plugged his patient’s ears with his own fingers while they gulped down the water.2 The doctor said that the method was “nearly infallible when applied correctly.”

Other Drinking Methods for Stopping Hiccups

There are other methods of drinking water which may work for some people:

Drink without using your hands – sit on a chair and have a cup of water on a chair in front of you. Bend towards the cup and drink as much as you can from it without touching or holding the glass. Be careful that you don’t tilt the cup so much that it falls over.

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Drink upside down – Fill a glass of water half full then bend at your waist and take a few gulps of water. Stand up, and if the hiccups are still there, try again.

Eat Something Sweet

If drinking water didn’t cure your hiccups and you have a sweet tooth, then you can try eating something sweet.

Take a spoon of sugar in your mouth and hold for 5 seconds before swallowing. Alternatively, you can try some soothing raw honey, which has much more nutritional and health benefits than sugar. The sweetness can affect the nerves in your mouth and reduce your hiccup reflex.

Alternatively, you can take a large spoon of peanut butter or natural hazelnut chocolate spread (but avoid Nutella) and hold it in your mouth for 5-10 seconds. Then gently swallow it.

There is actually medical research which seems to back up the fact that very sweet things can help to stop hiccups. For example, research was published in 2012 that showed that sweet taste in the mouth can increase cough reflex thresholds.3 It also mentioned previous research that sugar had been used to help to treat hiccups.

Breathing and Swallowing

Disrupting your breathing patterns is another way that many people use to get rid of hiccups naturally.

Swallowing with a closed mouth – to try this, breathe in as much as you can. When you can’t breathe in anymore, swallow with your mouth still closed. Keep inhaling and swallowing until you can no longer do that.  When you can’t continue, let out your breath slowly.

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Swallowing with an opened mouth – you can try swallowing, but this time keeping your mouth open. Keep your mouth open for 2 minutes. Then gulp every few seconds, while keeping your mouth open. The gulping motion with your mouth open can help to reset your hiccup reflex and make your hiccup go away.

Stretch your diaphragm – breathe in until you can’t breathe in anymore. Hold your breath for 30 seconds, then slowly exhale as much as you can. Try this 4 or 5 times.

Simulate breathing – another method to disrupt your breathing patterns is to take a deep breath and then hold your nose and close your mouth. Move your diaphragm as if you were breathing quickly.

Burping – gulp down air until you burp. This can reset your hiccup reflex.

Coughing – or you can try and anticipate when your next hiccup will be (count the intervals between them) and then cough when you expect your hiccup.

Hold your breath while looking at your toes – quickly breathe in as much as you can. Then push your chin into your neck and look at your toes. Keep this position for 10-20 seconds. Then return to normal position and exhale.

Other Ways to Stop Hiccups

Here are a number of other ways that many people use to get rid of hiccups. Of course, the evidence for these being effective are only anecdotal and may not work for everyone.

  • Drink a teaspoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar (you will also enjoy all the many other health benefits of apple cider vinegar)
  • Quickly drink a glass of carbonated water to induce burping
  • With a cotton swab or toothpick tickle the roof of your mouth (this stimulates the nerves in your mouth)

The good news is that hiccups rarely last for a long period of time and will usually go away on their own.

If hiccups last for more than 48 hours then it is best to visit your doctor. Persistent hiccups can be a sign of a more serious underlying health problem.4 And I’ve already mentioned that persistent hiccups are one of the early signs of kidney disease.

If you have tried everything you possibly could for hiccups and haven’t seen a result, try biting a lemon to get rid of hiccups. Biting lemon is one of the common folk remedies to treat hiccups.5

Read these related articles:
1. How to Clear a Stuffy or Runny Nose In 1 Minute
2. How to Get Rid of Eye Twitching
3. How to Go to Sleep Fast (in Under 1 Minute)

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2 Responses to The Best Tricks to Get Rid of Hiccups Fast

  1. Theresa Gonzales says:

    To get rid of hiccups. I drink a glass of water with an Alka-Seltzer tablet, this helps get rid of the hiccups which is actually trapped gas. I’ve known this since I was 12 years old.

  2. Me says:

    Sniffing black pepper & cayenne definitely did the trick for me. I absolutely HATE having hiccups. I’d rather vomit, befoe the annoyance of having hiccups. But FINALLY,I sniffed black pepper & cayenne and the stupid ass hiccups are a thing of the past. Thanks for giving Several remedies

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