Hiccups are very common. It is not any medical condition or disease. Almost everyone hiccups many times in life. It can happen to everyone and at any age. Hiccup is harmless, but if it lasts for a prolonged time, it could be a symptom of many severe diseases.
People also avoid hiccups a lot, that’s why I am going to discuss hiccups, Symptoms of Hiccups, causes of Hiccups, some common myths about hiccups, Hiccup complications, and in the end I will tell you some tips for hiccups and home remedies for hiccups that will be helpful to get rid of stubborn hiccups.
Surprising fact:- The longest hiccups in the world ever recorded was that of “Charles Osborne”. He started hiccuping in 1922 & continued until his death in 1990. He hiccuped for almost 68 years.
What are hiccups?
Hiccups are a sudden involuntary contraction of diaphragm muscles. With this contraction, your body feels pressure building up near your stomach, and you inhale the air all of a sudden. This makes a funny noise and is called hiccups.
Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords. Hiccups are repeated spasms of your diaphragm paired with a ‘hic’ sound from your vocal cords close. Your diaphragm is a muscle under your rib cage, separating your chest and stomach area. This muscle is an important part of the breathing process. It moves downward when you breathe in and upward when you breathe out.
The process of the hiccup happens very quickly, and you’ll usually return to normal within minutes to a couple of hours without treatment.
Note:- Hiccups are more common in men. Women and men tend to get hiccups equally often, but hiccups that last more than 48 hours are more common in men. Men can also have hiccups for a longer period.
Interesting Fact: Hiccups can even occur in a fetus while still in the womb.
Hiccups are often rhythmic. It can not require any medical treatment, but hiccuping for more than 3 hours can be concerning.
Symptoms of Hiccups
There are not many symptoms of hiccups. I am going to discuss some common symptoms of hiccups;-
- Suddenly, spasm of diaphragm muscles.
- Trouble in breathing.
- Trouble in the consumption of food and drink
- Continue spasm of diaphragm muscles
Factors responsible for hiccups
Most of the time, there is no obvious cause for hiccups. However, there are some following common known causes of hiccups;-
There are the following most common hiccups cause or hiccup triggering factors.
- Eating too quickly
- Drinking too quickly
- Drinking beverages that have carbonate in excess amount
- Eating too much
- Excitement or emotional stress
- Over-stretch your neck.
- Sudden temperature changes
- Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
- Take drugs (particularly those for anxiety – benzodiazepines).
- Drink a very hot or very cold drink.
- Go through chemotherapy.
- Are anesthetized for a procedure.
- Inhale toxic fumes.
- Hot or spicy foods
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Fizzy drinks
- Cigarette smoking
- Bad odors
Myths about hiccups
Most of us simply want to find a way to stop hiccups when they happen, but some myths, including those below, make this a bit difficult.
There are the following common myths about hiccups in several parts of the world:
Someone is thinking about you
Maybe grandma told you this as a kid and it stuck with you. Maybe you heard it from a friend. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not true.
Some people believe to stop hiccups, you must call out the name of the person thinking about you, and they will vanish. Like the other myths, this one also lacks a way of proving it, and by the time you have called out a few people’s names, your hiccups will have reached the end of their cycle anyway.
Now, hear it from science. There is no direct relationship between someone else’s thoughts and your hiccups. When the diaphragm gets disturbed, it creates erratic noise that results in hiccups. This contraction creates a direct and brief closure of the vocal cords, which produces the characteristic sound of a hiccup.
In fact, hiccups can be caused by many reasons and are hard to pinpoint. Your hiccups may be due to eating or drinking too quickly, alcohol consumption, overeating, and even stress.
Someone talking nonsense about you
This myth is very famous around the whole world. This is simply not true. If that were the case, there would be a lot more instances of hiccups, and there are people who would never stop having them as well. People with prestige and power might experience hiccups the whole day because at some point someone can be talking bad about them.
This myth may have been started to keep people from taking part in negative gossip or soothe one afflicted with hiccups, but whatever the case, it is not true
Hold your breath, hiccups will be stopped
This is another group of myths involving hiccups and their solution. None of these common home solutions work for hiccups, from holding your breath and having someone scare you to drinking water and placing a finger on your forehead, to be honest, hiccups only last for a few minutes anyway.
While uncomfortable, it sure isn’t worth your time trying to actively make it go away. Time is the best cure for hiccups. Bear with it for a while, and it will soon pass.
Your heart skips a beat while you hiccup
Now, where did this come from? I mean seriously.
Do not let this myth scare you! Your heartbeat is totally independent of your hiccupping. An irregular heartbeat is very dangerous, and while there are several possible causes, hiccups are not one of them. Your heartbeat and hiccups share no relation at all.
Some studies have shown a minor fluctuation in heartbeat rhythm when people hiccup, but this disturbance is extremely negligible and comes nowhere close to stopping your heart.
Some people never get hiccups
While it may be tempting to think that hiccups are a kind of condition and some people are immune or don’t suffer from it, this is also not true. As mentioned, hiccups are spasms of the diaphragm caused by a physical agent, including drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods, to name a few. Everyone has had hiccups at some point in time – even fetuses in the womb have been recorded getting hiccups.
No need to get jealous of those who never hiccup: these people don’t exist!
Everyone in the world, and I say everyone, gets hiccups. If you think you are the exception, think again! Even fetuses still inside the womb get hiccups too, so you probably did as well.
Tickling on the roof, hiccups will be stopped
People say that by tickling the roof of your mouth using something like a q-tip, you will stop hiccups. Well, it is only for distraction from hiccups. Some scientists have concluded that this trick may distract the mind from focusing on the hiccups, which often seem to worsen them. The tickling sensation may override the irritation that caused the hiccups initially, but all of this is just speculation. Similar activities involve dissolving a spoonful of sugar on your tongue and sticking your fingers in your ears.
While there seems to be a hiccup myth and solution for every culture worldwide, most of them have been disproved. It has also been difficult to study hiccups effectively because they occur randomly, often disappearing as fast as they began.
Long-lasting hiccups are rare. They can be stressful and exhausting. Intractable hiccups can be part of a larger, underlying medical problem and might not go away until that issue is corrected. If hiccups last for more than 48 then these hiccups are chronic hiccups, and you should consult a doctor in such condition, then it is concerning and can be a symptom of the following complicated diseases;-
- Disorders of the stomach or esophagus
- GERD (a gastrointestinal and abdominal disorder)
- Pleurisy of the diaphragm (Inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and diaphragm)
- Uremia (abnormally high levels of waste products in the blood)
- Bowel diseases
- Bladder irritation
- Liver cancer
Tips to prevent hiccups
Hiccups are not much dangerous until it stays for a prolonged time. Although there are some easy tips that can be effective to prevent hiccups;-
- Take deep breaths
- Don’t eat too quickly
- Don’t drink too quickly
- Don’t drink carbonated beverages
- Don’t eat too much
- Don’t stretch your neck during hiccuping
- Don’t take certain medications, such as anxiety and mental disorders.
- Don’t drink very hot and very cold drinks
- Don’t inhale toxic chemicals
Home remedies for hiccups
There are the following home remedies for hiccups that are proven to be effective
Breathing and Posture techniques to get rid of hiccups
Hold your breath. You can try to hold your breath for a short while to get rid of the hiccups. This is one of the oldest home remedies for hiccups.
Hug your knees. This is an effective technique to get rid of hiccups. Sit on a comfortable surface. Bring your close to your chest and try to hug your knees. This will form a posture that will apply pressure on your diaphragm. This slight pressure will be an effective home remedy for hiccups.
Lean on your Knees. Another similar way to get rid of hiccups is to sit on a surface with your legs on the floor open. Try to lean on your legs: posture will also compress your diaphragm, which will eventually help you with hiccups cure.
Controlled breathing. This is an effective hiccup cure. Try to practice controlled breathing. Take a deep breath, hold it for a while and then exhale again wait for a second, and then again deep breath. This way you can control your hiccups.
Hiccups cure pressure points
Pull your tongue. Try to catch your tongue with your finger and thumb and hold it firmly, then pull it out slowly, keep holding it for a while and then release. Try this two to three times, and you will stop the hiccups.
Apply pressure on the diaphragm directly. Your diaphragm movement is the main reason for hiccups. You can apply pressure on your diaphragm to calm it. You can do like given ways of exercise, or you can directly apply it. Likewise, you can apply pressure with your palm directly below your rib cage. This pressure will reach your diaphragm.
Another way of applying pressure is a yoga form. In this form, you sit on a surface with your legs spread, and you make your fist, on one hand, hold it with your other hand, and try to lean on your legs while your fist is directly below your rib cage. This yoga form is also helpful in various other cures like digestion and breathing.
Eats and Drinks to cure hiccups
Sip ice water. This is one of the home remedies for hiccups that is mostly followed in the United States. If you sip ice water slowly, then this can cure hiccups. This can work in two ways. If you are experiencing hiccups because of the heat or some other kind of drink, then this water will help to settle it down. Another way is when you will sip ice-cold water, it might break the rhythm of the hiccups. Which is a simple concept from the science of harmony and disturbance.
Suck an Ice cube. This method also works similarly to the above one. This will also cool down the heat as well as it will break the harmony of the hiccups. If you are experiencing hiccups because recently you ate something hot or spicy, then this is one of the best home remedies for hiccups.
Gargle water. Gargling water will also break the harmony of the hiccups, which will help you in tweaking it down and then finally stopping it. When you will gargle with water, it will break the frequency of hiccups and will try to stop it slowly. If you are using this natural remedy for hiccups, make sure you do not breathe (inhaling air) at that moment. Inhaling while
Eat Honey. This is one of the effective home remedies for hiccups. Take a spoonful of honey and pour it on your tongue or lick it. Keep it inside your mouth for a while and let it mix with your saliva. This will help you in swallowing it. Due to the viscosity of the fluid, it will help you break the chain of hiccups.
Other remedies for hiccups.
Orgasm. Well, this is not a usual one. But it is noticed that having an orgasm during hiccups stops them. This way is effective and admitted by many men. Having an orgasm just due to hiccups is not the most healthy way to do it, and also some people might think that it’s funny. But this remedy for hiccups works.
Tap the back of your neck. If you try to touch the back of your neck, then this will help you in curing the hiccups. This remedy for hiccups actually stimulates other parts of your brain, and this diversion can help you to cure hiccups. You might have noticed that your hiccups get louder when you try to focus on it.
That’s why it feels even more annoying. Try to touch the back of your neck by yourself, or you can also ask someone else to touch you at the back of your neck. This will divert your brain for sure. If they touch you with a cold hand, then it can be even more effective.
Distract your brain. This is another proven method. At the time people are free, they are most annoyed by their hiccups. Counter of this helps you in relieving from hiccups. Try to focus on something like a game or try to do something engaging and fun for yourself. This will surely help.
Questions asked on the Internet about Hiccups
Is it possible to go your entire life without hiccuping?
As we have mentioned that this is a general myth that some people can spend their entire life without having a hiccup even once. This is an extremely rare case, and the chances of its occurrence can be lower than 1 in a million.
Is it bad to feel chest pain when you have hiccups?
Yes, You must consult a doctor. Generally, hiccups do not cause any pain, and if you are getting pain while hiccup, you need to visit a doctor. This is not normal behavior, and you should not take it lightly.